Transgaz IPO could spark interest of over 10,000 investors

Transgaz IPO could spark interest of over 10,000 investors

The initial public offering of Transgaz Medias, the largest of its kind ever witnessed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, could attract more than 10,000 investors, believes Steven van Groningen, chairman of Raiffeisen Bank, which will take charge of subscription during the IPO, local Ziarul Financiar reports.

This level is equal to the average number of active investor accounts that bought something on the Bucharest Stock Exchange over the last few months, according to BSE statistics. A little more than 5,000 investors subscribed during Transelectrica's IPO last summer.

Transgaz's offering, which is worth about 65 million euros, is the largest of its kind conducted on the capital market so far.

It comes at a time when the Stock Exchange witnessed one of the most severe corrections of the last few years within the past few months, while international markets continue to be dominated by uncertainties related to the financial crisis in the US.

The representatives of Raiffeisen Capital & Investment (RCI), the brokerage firm that prepared the offering, however, are confident of a successful conclusion, and are relying in part on the introduction of allotment rights for the first time, which will allow investors to capitalize on their investments sooner than in previous public offerings.

"The Transgaz public offering will use allotment rights for the first time in Romania, with trading set to begin approximately three days from clearing. This way, investors will no longer have their money stuck for two months, and will be able to sell their investment as early as this year. We anticipate the trading of the allotment rights will start around December 19, 2007," stated Mirela Ionescu, RCI's general manager.

The allotment rights will be converted into shares when the capital increase is registered with the Central Depository, which will most likely happen in February, RCI's head explains.

An investor will get 100 shares and 100 allotment rights at the time of subscription and will be allowed to sell his or her rights when the trading of such rights starts on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and will therefore lose the right to receive shares or can wait until the allotment rights are converted into shares. At the same time an investor that did not get as many shares as intended will be able to buy allotment rights from the market to increase the stake.

Transgaz's offering will start on Monday, November 26, and end on December 7. The company has put up for sale 1.177 million shares, which account for 10% of its share capital, at a price of 191.92 RON/share.

Small investors will be allowed to subscribe to buy some of the 40% set aside for such investors, where the value of subscription ranges from 2,000 and 500,000 RON and the number of shares subscribed ranges between 11 and 2,605.

The remaining 60% of the IPO will be available to large investors, with a value of subscription that exceeds 500,000 RON (143,000 euros). To prevent oversubscription, the allotment will be conducted pro-rata for each category (small/large investors), and each investor will receive the number of shares proportionate to their subscription.

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