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Russia's second largest bank offers shares in Moscow

Russia's second largest bank, VTB, began share offering for Russian retail investors on Monday, April 9, ahead of the international IPO it has planned for May. Banking sources say it is seeking to raise up to $6 billion.

State-owned VTB, which will be the first Russian bank to float in London, said in a statement it would accept offers in Russia until May 7. The minimum bid is 30,000 rubles ($1,154). Banking sources interviewed by Reuters said the investment banks organizing the IPO had valued VTB at between $25 billion and $30 billion, but several said the higher number was more realistic. The bank is expected to announce its intention to float on Wednesday, April 11. This formality will clear the way for it to launch a road show for institutional investors on April 25, sources close to the offering said.

Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Renaissance Capital are acting as bookrunners for the IPO, marketing the offering to institutions both internationally and in Russia. The bank’s retail arm VTB-24, is promoting the issue through its branch network in Russia and has said it expects to sell 10-15% of the total offering to private investors. Final pricing of the deal is expected in May. VTB plans to float new shares equivalent to 22% to 23% of its equity. The bank said it would publish its 2006 results, calculated to international accounting standards, on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. (1300 GMT). (