U.S. Markets

Factbox: Russian IPOs in times of crisis

(Reuters) - The initial public offering (IPO) of Russian shipping giant Sovcomflot is the first major stock exchange flotation in Moscow in three years as deals were held back by political uncertainties and the COVID-19 crisis.

Sovcomflot aims to raise at least $500 million from a Moscow Exchange debut planned for early October.

Russia, once a lucrative market for investment bankers due to the high fees, was hoping for an equity raising renaissance this year as a number of potential deals dropped drastically ever since Western sanctions were imposed on Moscow in 2014 over the Ukraine conflict.

The Russian stock market has been struggling to recover as sentiment was further rattled by the pandemic, with investors coming under pressure on concerns about potential fresh Western sanctions against Moscow following the alleged poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Below follows an overview of recent major market debuts of Russian companies:

** Four Russian companies went public in 2019 and 2020, with one of them - biotechnology firm Gemabank - debuting in Moscow last year and raising $2.4 million. The other three were Headhunter (Nasdaq; $220 million), Kismet Acquisition One Corp (Nasdaq; $250 million) and Don Agro (Singapore; $3.6 million).

** Headhunter’s 2019 debut was the first IPO of a Russian company in the United States since Washington began imposing sanctions on Moscow in 2014.

** The year 2018 was the first in a decade without a single Russian IPO. The year before Russian companies raised about $3 billion from IPOs, including Oleg Deripaska’s En+ listing in London and Moscow, according to Reuters data.

** Fourteen Russian companies carried out their IPOs since 2015, compared with 43 deals between 2008 and 2014.

** Before the 2008 financial crisis, 74 IPOs were held between 2005 and 2007.

** Four of the 14 IPOs since 2015 were held outside of Russia – in London, New York and Singapore.

** In the period between 2005 and 2014, 37 IPOs were carried out in Moscow and 67 in London.

** The biggest Russian IPO to date was a $10.7 billion float by oil major Rosneft in London and Moscow in 2006, followed by an $8 billion offering of state-run VTB Bank in 2007.

** Money raised by Russian companies via IPO after 2014 also slumped, with the $1.5 billion IPO of En+ being the biggest float since 2014.

Compiled by Olga Beskrovnova; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips