Russia's SUEK mulls 2010 London IPO - sources

MOSCOW, Dec 21 (Reuters) - SUEK, Russia’s largest steam coal producer, is considering an initial public offering of its shares next year in London, three banking industry sources told Reuters on Monday.

The sources did not say how much SUEK, which is controlled by Andrei Melnichenko and Sergei Popov, was looking to raise, although one source said the entire company could achieve a valuation of $8 billion to $9 billion prior to the listing.

This source also said the listing would take place in the first half of the year, while the others said no date had been set.

“There haven’t been any good opportunities in this sector for a long time, and the sector is on its way up, so therefore this will be a positive story,” an unnamed banker said.

SUEK could not immediately be reached for comment. (Reporting by Olga Popova, writing by Alfred Kueppers, editing by Robin Paxton)