RDIF-backed Moscow Exchange to float, could raise $500m


russia_moscow_170Russia’s largest stock exchange MICEX-RTS, which is backed by investors including Cartesian Capital, Blackrock and state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), is reportedly planning to raise at least $500m by listing on its own platform.

MICEX-RTS shareholders in the Moscow Exchange are expected to sell shares worth at least $500m, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Monday.

The exchange is valued at between $4.2bn and $6.5bn by the banks organising the IPO, the report said.

US private equity firm Cartesian partnered with the RDIF – the $10bn vehicle launched by the Kremlin in 2011 to entice overseas investors to commit to private business opportunities in Russia – in July last year to buy stakes in MICEX-RTS from ZAO UniCredit Bank.

RDIF owns about 2.7 per cent of MICEX-RTS, while Blackrock also co-invested in the bourse alongside the RDIF in October 2012.

Cartesian owns about 2.5 per cent of MICEX-RTS, while UniCredit now owns around 6.2 per cent.

The investments were part of a long-term strategy to promote the development of Russian capital markets and broaden the regional and international appeal of the Moscow Exchange.

RDIF’s initial investment in January 2012 alongside the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development marked the Kremlin sovereign wealth fund’s first investment, reflecting the state’s efforts to transform Moscow into a globally competitive financial hub.

Russia’s stock market is the most developed in the Commonwealth of Independent States, and represents the largest trading venue for futures and options in Eastern Europe.

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