Russia Firms Eye Singapore IPOs

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Six Russian companies are considering listing in Singapore, with a shipping firm considered the most serious. But Hong Kong is still seen as preferred choice for resource companies. Here's more.

As many as six Russian companies are considering listing in Singapore, as Asia's bourses compete for a slice of the estimated $150 billion Russian companies need for debt servicing and expansion over the next five years.

Dismissing suggestions that Hong Kong would be the preferred choice for Russian capital raising efforts, executive director of the Russia-Singapore business forum, Michael Tay, said Singapore was in discussions with at least four players.

[Michael Tay, Executive Director, Russia-Singapore Business Forum]:
"There are many Russian companies, including a shipping company, that's looking at a potential listing in Singapore because their business is aligned with our strength, and they are looking at the Southeast Asian market."

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Andrei Sharonov, head of investment banking at Troika Dialog, says Russia's vast array of companies offer more than just resource plays.

[Andrei Sharonov, Head of Investment Banking, Troika Dialog]:
"We have some other very interesting growing sectors, like telecom, like retail, food and retail. It's smaller but their quality and quantity of growth looks higher than in traditional resource sectors."

He also says Russian firms are in turn attracted to higher valuations from Asian investors compared to investors in London and New York.

Hong Kong is seen as a natural choice for China-oriented Russian resource firms given its proximity to the mainland, but Tay says Singapore does offer advantages.

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Russian capital raising efforts in Asia first caught the attention of investors earlier this year, when aluminum producer Rusal raised $2.25 billion in a Hong Kong listing. As many five other Russian resource companies, are reportedly considering similar listings there.

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