Russian steel giant moves closer to blue-chip ranking

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The Independent Online

Shares in Russia's Evraz rose 11 per cent on its first day of trading on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange, as the steel maker part-owned by Roman Abramovich came closer to joining the FTSE 100.

Evraz is among a string of Russian companies seeking a higher international profile, greater liquidity, a broader shareholder base and better long-term access to capital markets through a London listing and inclusion in its blue-chip index.

The UK Listing Authority gave Evraz a waiver to move to a premium London listing despite having a free float of 23.4 per cent, below the usually required minimum of 25 per cent. That means Evraz will be eligible for its UK index at the next review in December, but it could be hit by the proposal to raise free float requirements.

Other Russian firms to come to London recently are Polymetal, which started trading a week ago, and Polyus Gold which recently revealed plans for a London listing.

The Russian potash miner Uralkali is also considering a full stock market listing in London next year. Evraz's shares opened yesterday at 320p, and closed up 35p at 355p, valuing the company at £4.7bn. The Chelsea Football Club owner Mr Abramovich, left, owns a 35 per cent stake in Evraz, which is now worth £1.6bn. Reuters

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