* To be valued at $4 bln-$4.6 bln
* Price range set at 55 roubles-63 roubles
* To start trading Feb. 15
By Megan Davies
MOSCOW, Feb 4 Moscow's stock exchange will be valued at up to $4.6 billion in its planned stock market flotation, which will raise around $500 million for the company and selling shareholders, according to a price range published by the company on Monday.
The Moscow Exchange, Russia's main venue for trading in stocks, bonds, currencies and derivatives, is to float on its own platform in an attempt to revitalise Russia's capital markets and convince companies to list domestically rather than abroad.
Promoting Moscow's markets has been backed by the Kremlin in a bid to transform the Russian capital into a global financial centre. President Vladimir Putin recently called for upcoming privatisations of state assets to be held in Russia.
Analysts caution, however, that it will be difficult to break a trend for Russian companies to seek listings in London or New York, continued scepticism about shareholder rights in Russia and a slump in local share trading volumes.
The exchange, formed in 2011 through the merger of Moscow's two largest stock exchanges, MICEX and RTS, set an indicative price range for its initial public offering (IPO) of between 55 and 63 roubles, confirming a Reuters report on Friday.
That values it at between $4 billion and $4.6 billion based on a share count of 2.197 billion.
OLD AND NEW SHARES
Around 60 percent of the 15 billion roubles ($500 million) of proceeds will go to selling shareholders while around 40 percent will go to the company, which is raising money to invest in IT and its clearing business.
The company may increase the size of the offering, if there is enough demand, by up to 5 billion roubles.
The company and shareholders selling through a MICEX subsidiary will be subject to a lock-up preventing them from selling any more shares for 180 days, the company said in a statement, without specifying any restrictions that previous RTS shareholders might have.
The exchange's largest shareholder is Russia's central bank, which will retain its 24.3 percent stake.
Other shareholders are banks and brokers such as Sberbank with 10.3 percent, Unicredit, VTB, Gazprombank, U.S. private equity fund Cartesian Capital and the state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
The RTS' shareholders before the 2011 merger were large investment banks, according to an archived version of its website.
During the merger, five RTS shareholders - Renaissance Capital, Alfa Bank, Aton, Troika Dialog and Da Vinci Capital - agreed to sell a controlling stake to MICEX. The exchange declined to comment on the identity of other RTS shareholders.
The Moscow Exchange said that VTB Capital, acting as a manager in the offering, will have the right to acquire up to 13 percent of the issued shares.
Dividends of no less than 30 percent of consolidated net profit will be paid for 2012 and 40 percent of profit will be spent on this year's dividend payout. Next year, half of the exchange's profit will go to paying dividends, it said.
Final pricing of the IPO is expected Feb. 15 and trading of the shares will start the same day under the symbol MOEX.