RBC scores first IPO home goal
Analysts doubted that there would be enough investor interest for a Russian media and IT company employing just 500 people to launch the country's first ever domestic IPO but RBC Information Systems has done it. "Analysts had got used to looking at hugely capitalized companies such as Gazprom," says general director of RBC, Yuri Rovensky. "In comparison, we look very small, which made some say we were not interesting for the investors."
The issue size may have been small - the company only raised $13.28 million from its simultaneous placement of 16 million shares on Russia's two stock exchanges, RTS and MICEX - but the significance could be great. To date all Russia's IPOs have been issued on foreign exchanges. Now RBC's IPO has closed almost five times oversubscribed and Russia's benchmark equity index, the RTS, is trading at pre-1998 crisis levels, the way is open for other companies to follow.
"A lot of sceptics said we would have to go to America because there was more money there. But for our business there was more than enough money in the domestic market," says Rovensky. In fact, the deal also attracted some foreign funds and banks.