Russian Companies Share Offerings Could Reach Worth $1.4bn in March, April

An ongoing respite in international sanctions against Russia is used by the country’s billionaires to cash in on the appeal of the country’s equities, Bloomberg writes.

The U.S. lifted sanctions aluminum giant Rusal at the end of January, and amid the relative calm that’s settled since Washington targeted Oleg Deripaska and other tycoons 12 months ago, Russian companies and their owners could raise about $1.4 billion in March and April, according to the news outlet’s data.

“The window for share offerings opened. The owners and companies are trying to take advantage of it,” says Kirill Chuyko, chief strategist at BCS Global Markets. Such windows became rare and short for Russian assets and it is not clear when there will be the next one.

Russian tycoons already sold shares in Polyus, Evraz and Norilsk Nickel, said Sergey Donskoy, an analyst at Societe Generale. All those offerings were oversubscribed amid strong foreign investor demand and now sales look set to widen as Russian agricultural companies test the market.

Russia’s top agriculture holding, Cherkizovo Group, which delisted from the London Stock Exchange at the end of 2017, is selling shares, while Rusagro has also approved an option to sell a stake of as much as 23.8 percent.

“There is a significant demand for high-quality Russian assets,” Dmitry Bolyasnikov, co-head of equity capital markets at VTB Capital, said last month after the Nornickel sale.

Russia also sold its first eurobond in years in March, with companies from closely held EuroChem Group to state-controlled Alrosa and Gazprom selling new international debt.

Still, the situation remains volatile as the U.S. prepares new penalties for the 2018 nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K., Bloomberg writes. Separately, a bipartisan group of senators reintroduced last week the so-called Deter Act originally proposed in a previous congressional session.