Rosneft to start trading on LSE, MICEX

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Trading of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft's shares starts Wednesday in London after the High Court dismissed a legal challenge mounted by Yukos.
MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti) - Trading of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft's shares starts Wednesday in London after the High Court dismissed a legal challenge mounted by Yukos.

The London Stock Exchange will start free trading of Rosneft GDRs at 7 a.m. GMT, an LSE official said.

Trading of Rosneft's shares started Monday on the Russian Trading System (RTS) and also is set to be launched on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) Wednesday.

Rival company Yukos sought the injunction on the grounds that 70% of Rosneft's value came from the forced sale of its own core assets and that the floatation would therefore amount to money laundering under the United Kingdom's Proceeds of Crime Act.

The state-owned Russian group became the nation's No. 3 crude producer after embattled Yukos had its main production unit - Yuganskneftegaz - sold off to pay huge back tax bills.

Rosneft closed the books Friday on its initial public offering - the biggest in Russian history - placing 1.4 billion ordinary shares (GDRs abroad) in Moscow and London with a total worth of $10.4 billion.

Demand had the following structure: strategic investors - 21%, international investors from the U.S., Europe and Asia - 36%, Russian investors - 39%, Russian retail investors - 4%.

With its value put at $79.8 billion and the price of its shares at $7.55, Rosneft's IPO is expected to bring in $10.4 billion, and will be the largest in the Russian corporate history.

The company will have 13% of its stock (1.38 billion shares) formally listed on the London Stock Exchange and Russian bourses last week.

Rosneft president Sergei Bogdanchikov said Sunday that three strategic investors had subscribed for $3 billion of the company's shares. He said that U.K.-based BP had subscribed for $1 billion worth of shares, Malaysian oil company Petronas for $1.5 billion, and China National Petroleum Corporation for $500 million.

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