Russia's IPO market sets records in 2007

Russia's IPO market sets records in 2007

The value of IPOs and SPOs held on the Russian market will exceed $32 billion in 2007, a respected business daily said on Saturday referring to calculations by Alfa Bank, Russia's largest privately-owned bank.

According to Alfa Bank, Russian companies held 31 public offerings, including 20 IPOs, the Vedomosti business daily said. However, Thomson Financial reported about 34 public offerings worth $29 billion, including 22 IPOs worth $20 billion. Last year Thomson said Russian companies held 17 IPOs to the tune of $17.1 billion and seven SPOs worth $1.9 billion.

Two record-breaking IPOs were held this year, unlike in 2006, when Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft floated $10 billion worth of stock, the newspaper said. Russia's state-run VTB bank sold stock worth $8 billion in May 2007. While Russia's largest state-owned bank Sberbank earlier held an additional issue valued at $8.8 billion in March 2007.

"The global mortgage crisis did affect the market for public offerings with investors getting picky and cautious. Several companies which planned to hold flotations late this year postponed them indefinitely," the paper wrote.

Deutsche Bank said there are around 200 Russian companies whose capitalization exceeds $500 million and that could potentially hold an IPO. Alfa Bank analysts expect Russian companies to hold at least 40 flotations totaling $29-54 billion next year. They consider banks, steel, power generating and real estate companies to be the most attractive issuers.

According to Vedomosti, dozens of companies have already announced plans to hold an IPO in 2008.

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