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Putin urges private investment in IPOs

President Vladimir Putin said Monday that more initial public offerings (IPOs) should be held to attract private investors.

A global offering launched by Russia's second-largest bank, VTB, earlier this month saw an unprecedented interest from private Russian investors, with about 119,000 individual applications worth 37.7 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) accepted before the placement. „I believe the practice should be continued. An increasingly higher number of domestic companies will come to the primary market,” Putin told a Cabinet session.

State-run VTB has floated 1.513 billion shares at $0.0003 each in London and Moscow, representing 22.5% of its enlarged share capital. VTB common stock trading on the Russian RTS and MICEX bourses began Monday, and MICEX suspended trade on the first day after the share price leapt 54%. After the IPO, in which the bank earned some $8 billion, the government's stake in VTB dropped from 99.9% to 77.47%. (