Russia's EN+ and Tatneft to begin foreign delisting after Moscow rule

  • Moscow signed law requiring companies to delist GDRs
  • Firms will have 5 days to delist once provisions are effective
  • London Stock Exchange last month suspended Russian listings

April 19 (Reuters) - Hydropower group EN+ and energy firm Tatneft (TATN.MM) on Tuesday became the first Russian companies to start the process of delisting their depository receipts (GDRs) from foreign exchanges after orders from Moscow over the weekend.

EN+ and Tatneft , both of which have a London listing, said they were weighing options to terminate their GDRs, though Tatneft also said it was may apply for special permission to continue its foreign listing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday signed into law a bill requiring Russian companies to delist their GDRs from international bourses and convert them into local securities in a bid to reduce foreigners' control over these firms. read more

Early last month, the London bourse had already suspended trading in GDRs of Russian companies, including EN+, Rosneft (ROSN.MM), Sberbank (SBER.MM), and Gazprom (GAZP.MM), after prices crashed to record lows since Moscow began what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine on Feb. 24. read more

While the West has been tightening financial restrictions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine, the Putin administration has also hit back and the new law formally severs ties between foreign investors and Russia.

Depositary receipts are certificates issued by a bank representing shares in a foreign company traded on a local stock exchange. They allow investors to dabble in overseas stocks in their own geography and time zone.

Companies will have five days to remove their GDRs once the provisions become effective, and shares underlying the GDRs will have no voting rights and dividends will not be paid on those deposits, according to the new rule.

Reuters reported last week that the delisting of GDRs could lead to some profits for Russian companies and global banks who issued the receipts because of some contractual clauses over cancellations. read more

The law will not affect Russian companies that carried out initial public offerings on foreign exchanges, such as Yandex (YNDX.O) or TCS Group (TCSq.L).

Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Bernadette Baum

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