Azeri state oil fund to invest $500 mln in VTB

MOSCOW Mon May 6, 2013 6:40am EDT

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MOSCOW May 6 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan's state oil fund SOFAZ has agreed to invest around $500 million in a new share offering by VTB, Russia's second-largest bank, the fund said in e-mailed comments to Reuters.

VTB says it has already received firm orders for all of the 2.5 trillion shares it is selling in Moscow at 4.1 kopecks apiece, raising 102.5 billion roubles ($3.3 billion) to bolster its capital.

Jamala Aliyeva, head of public relations at SOFAZ, said the fund had been investing in Russian money market instruments, fixed-income securities and commercial real estate since 2012. The VTB investment marked a further step to strengthen its presence in Russia.

In the e-mail, she said SOFAZ would hold around 3 percent of VTB's share capital following the capital increase. It held no VTB stock previously.

The Russian bank declined immediate comment.

The largest investors in the share sale are SOFAZ, Norges Bank Investment Management and Qatar Holding, which together signed up for more than half of the offering and are buying roughly equal lots, sources familiar with the sale have said.

The Russian government's stake will be diluted to 60.9 percent from 75.5 percent. Existing shareholders have from May 6 to May 17 to exercise their subscription rights.

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