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Capital Markets

Armenia: Yerevan floats hydroelectric IPO

The marketing campaign for the first-ever initial public offering from Armenia has been launched despite the fact that the country recently had to abandon attempts to support its currency, the dram, which depreciated by 25% in March.

Hydroelectric power generator Artsakh Hek is looking to sell Dram3.45 billion ($9.5 million) of stock at Dram1,050 a share in a landmark offering that is being lead managed by Armenbroke. Vazgen Abgaryan, investment adviser at Armenbroke in Yerevan, says that the firm is looking to attract as broad as possible an audience for the groundbreaking transaction. "As the first ever IPO in Armenia it’s very important to see as wide a range of participation by investors as possible," he says.

He adds that investor roadshows have been held in Artsakh’s home region of Nagorno Karabakh and the Armenian capital, Yerevan, which were attended by senior government officials and executives from the country’s biggest banking, fund management and industrial groups. "We’re seeing very strong, positive feedback on the issue," says Abgaryan. "Traditionally, the main form of investment in Armenia has been in bank deposits or more recently in government or corporate bonds. With this IPO we are offering investors something totally new." Abgaryan says that Armenbroke has also conducted an email marketing campaign among the Armenian diaspora in the US and Europe and has contacted specialist emerging market investors to drum up offshore interest ahead of the April 10 subscription date for the issue.

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