Blackrock to invest in Russia’s MICEX

Leading investment firm Blackrock plans to invest in the Moscow MICEX-RTS stock exchange, marking its first direct investment into Russia, according to local news sources.

Russia’s news provider Vedomosti said the investment will be made together with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), following the formation of a consortium with three leading global investment firms in June.

This cooperation brought together BlackRock Investment Management, Templeton Asset Management and the Goldman Sachs European Special Situations Group, with the aim to help Russian companies through the pre-IPO process.

Together with the RDIF they plan to invest in Russian companies with an annual turnover of $500m or more that plan to place their equity on the Russian stock exchange in the next 6-18 months.

Vedomosti quotes MICEX sources saying Blackrock agreed to buy part of the stake from RDIF, which has a 2.65% share.

At the start of the year, RDIF bought 1.25% of MICEX, together with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. In June, it acquired a second stake, together with global private equity firm Cartesian Capital Group.

The size of the stake bought by Blackrock could not be learnt.

In the meantime, MICEX is busy preparing for the IPO process. At last week’s general meeting of shareholders, a decision was made to increase the authorized share capital of the company by issuing additional shares amounting to RUB200m (approx. €5m).

Vedomosti notes that a prominent investor such as Blackrock would significantly help the stock exchange during the IPO process. According to the article, interest towards MICEX from foreign investors has increased in the past few weeks.

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