Search This Blog

26 Dec 2006

New Laws Create Investment Opportunities in Russia

Sberbank, Russia's central bank, says that in 2006 48 Russian banks were fully owned by foreigners, and the total share of non-residents in Russian banks stood at 12.92%.

According to a report by Reuters, the lower house of Russian parliament has just made it easier for foreigners to gain exposure to the booming sector by passing legislation that would put foreign and domestic investors on an equal footing when buying shares in Russian banks, also making it easier for Russian banks to go public.

The new rules would oblige residents and non-residents to inform regulators if they purchase more than a 1% stake in a Russian bank and seek permission to build a stake of more than 20%, according to the report by Reuters.

After approval by the upper chamber of parliament and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, the amendments should pave the way for a $7.6 billion additional share issue by Russia's largest bank, state-owned Sberbank, as well as a $4 billion initial public offering by domestic rival VTB.

"These amendments will clearly facilitate secondary trading and be positive for all banking stocks traded in Russia," Alfa Bank analysts said in a research note, suggesting the new law will have a positive effect on Russian banks going public.

No comments: