Wave of buybacks in Russian blue chips follows drop in market

Wave of buybacks in Russian blue chips follows drop in market
Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson and other top managers of some of Russia's largest companies are calling a bottom to the recent sell off and buying shares in their own companies
By bne IntelliNews March 13, 2020

The head and the largest shareholder of Russian gas major Novatek, Leonid Mikhelson (24.76%), bought $7mn worth of company's shares in London and RUB150mn ($2.03mn) in Moscow on the week of March 9, Vedomosti daily reported citing the information disclosed by the company. The daily estimated that the free float of the company declined to 21% as a result of the deal. 

Analysts surveyed by the daily believe that Russia's richest man Mikhelson is both sending a positive signal to the market, the strategic partners such as Total, while capitalising on the share price drop due to the coronavirus epidemic and the crash of the oil market.

Other reports claim that the CEO of Russian Sberbank, German Gref, as well as deputy heads of the bank Alexander Morozov and Staislava Kuznetsova also increased their stakes in Russia's largest lender on March 10 (from 0.003% to 0.0039%, from 0.001% to 0.0014% and from 0.0006% to 0.00085% respectively).

Other top managers that bought out shares on the declining market include Cherkizovo agro major's Leonid Izmailov, according to Vedomosti. The banking TCS Group that had 25% of its value wiped off this month said that it will carry a $10mn buyback in London.

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