Russian bank abandons London listing

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The Independent Online

The Russian bank Rosbank has become the latest company to pull its London flotation, which would have valued it at around $2bn (£1.1bn), because of continuing volatility across markets.

Last week Cineworld, the UK's second-largest cinema chain, said it was shelving its £290m flotation. The announcement followed recent postponements by the spread-betting group CMC and the Black Sea property company Sigma Capital.

Rosbank, the second-largest retail bank in Russia, has instead agreed to sell a 10 per cent stake to the French bank Société Générale (SG) for $317m. The deal values the Russian bank, which is owned by the oligarchs Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov, at over $3bn. But it is not thought that a flotation would have put such a high figure on the company.

As part of the deal, SG - which wants to boost its presence in Russia - has the option of doubling its stake for the same price.

Rosbank, which appointed Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank and HSBC at the end of last year as advisers on the planned flotation, had been seeking to list this summer.

One Moscow-based analyst said that a partial sale was more attractive to Rosbank's owners because of the slump in equity markets. A sale would also save Rosbank having to comply with Western listing regulations.

"Investors are worried about interest rates going up," the analyst said. "This would have had an influence on Rosbank going for a partial sale. You get a lot more certainty with a sale than an initial public offering."

After a period of strong growth in recent years, the FTSE 100 has fallen 7 per cent in the past month and closed on Friday at 5,655. Several companies which have scrapped flotation plans still hope to press ahead later in the year if stock markets rally.