February 8, 2019 / 1:42 PM / 7 months ago

Russian mobile operator MTS to consider delisting in New York

FILE PHOTO - A general view shows the mobile operator MTS logo in Minsk, Belarus May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s top mobile phone operator MTS said on Friday it will consider delisting in the United States.

MTS, which is listed in both Moscow and New York, plans to evaluate whether its U.S. listing is in the best interests of shareholders and whether other exchanges may be preferable.

MTS said it will also assess whether the Moscow Exchange could become the main trading platform for its stock, and will consider increasing trading volumes there.

Shares in MTS on the New York Exchange were down 7.3 percent at 1454 GMT, their biggest one-day drop since November.

Between pre-market trading and the first 10 minutes after the opening bell, the volumes traded matched Thursday’s full-day total of just over 1.8 million shares.

Shares in MTS on the Moscow Exchange were down 4 percent on the day at 1500 GMT.

MTS has started consultations with its investors, Andrey Kamenskiy, MTS chief financial officer, said in a statement.

“The resulting insights will help us ensure that MTS equity capital markets and listing framework maintains maximum investor appeal in the context of on-going market developments,” he said.

Uncertainty caused by the widening of U.S. sanctions against Moscow last year has hit the share price of Russian companies, prompting investment bankers to suggest their clients should delist from local and international exchanges, Reuters reported on Friday.

Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Writing by Maria Tsvetkova and Maria Vasilyeva; Editing by Alexander Smith

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