MOSCOW, July 1 Russia's central bank has decided
to sell the shares it holds in the Moscow Exchange,
the bank said in a statement on Tuesday, with financial market
sources saying that a public offering for half these shares is
now under way.
Details provided to Reuters by banking sources showed that
the central bank has initiated an accelerated secondary public
offering to sell an 11.75 percent stake, representing 50 percent
of the bank's holding in the exchange.
A financial source told Reuters that the organisers are
aiming for a share price of around 60 roubles ($1.75) per share
and to raise up to $500 million.
Moscow Exchange shares closed at 65.05 on Tuesday.
The Moscow Exchange - Russia's main venue for trading in
stocks, bonds, currencies and derivatives - raised 15 billion
roubles ($470 million) in an initial public offering last year,
with an IPO price of 55 roubles per share.
The central bank did not sell any shares at the time but,
according to government plans, is supposed to exit the
exchange's share capital no later than two years after the IPO.
The bank said that its decision to sell its shares is aimed
at fulfilling a federal law from 2013 that envisages the central
bank selling out completely from the exchange by January 1 2016.
It also said that Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan,
VTB Capital and Sberbank CIB are acting as financial
consultants for several deals to sell shares, with Gazprombank
and Citibank acting as co-managers.
($1 = 34.2990 Russian Rubles)
(Reporting by Olga Popova, Lidia Kelly and Jason Bush. Editing
by Jane Merriman)