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Capital Markets

Russia/CIS: Russian IPOs wait for a propitious 2011

Recent share sales raise hopes of 2011 IPO bonanza; Kazakh bank debt remains risky proposition

Russian internet company Mail.ru Group was a star attraction when it debuted on the London Stock Exchange last month, providing firm evidence of investor demand for a wide range of assets from the former Soviet Union.

Mail.ru’s listing was one of a quartet of equity deals from Russia in November that raised more than $2 billion. Bankers hope these successes could set the stage for $28 billion of share sales next year, the most since record-breaking 2007. Bankers had been predicting $20 billion of share issuance from Russia earlier this year but global market jitters have caused many potential issuers to shelve their listing plans in expectation of more favourable market conditions in 2011.

"Rising appetite for Russian risk should continue to be supported by privatization plans, the accelerating economic growth, relatively low valuations, strong commodity prices, high interest rates and the absence of capital control measures"

Mark Rubinstein, IFC Metropol

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