Kamaz truck maker to IPO in Russia, abroad in early 2008

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KAZAN, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - Kamaz [RTS: KMAZ], Russia's leading truck maker, will conduct an initial public offering in Russia and abroad in early 2008, Russia's economics minister said Monday.

Russian companies are believed to be heavily undercapitalized and in need of funds to face increasingly fierce competition from Western firms.

"We have not given up our IPO plans. This can be done in early 2008," Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref told an investment forum in the capital of the Volga republic of Tatarstan.

He said the IPO strategy for Kamaz, which was founded in 1976 and whose heavy-duty trucks have won the Paris-Dakar rally on many occasions, was yet to be finalized.

Rosneft Oil Company, held the largest IPO in Russia's corporate history and the world's fifth biggest, in the summer. And Gref indicated that Kamaz may pursue a similar strategy to the crude producer, which made a $10.4 billion debut on trading floors in the Russian and British capitals.

"There will probably be two floors: one at home and the other abroad," he said, adding that one of these could be the London Stock Exchange.

Gref said "there are no serious restrictions" on the IPO volume and that the state could place its entire 34.01% stake.

A number of other major Russian companies, including steelmaker Severstal, independent natural gas producer Itera and the capital's electricity producer, Mosenergo, are also considering IPO plans.

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