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    Rosneft IPO organizers report high public demand in Russia

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    Organizers of Rosneft's initial public offering reported a high demand for the state-owned oil company's stock among the Russian population.

    MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - Organizers of Rosneft's initial public offering reported a high demand for the state-owned oil company's stock among the Russian population.

    Aton investment, which is managing Rosneft's IPO in Russia from June 26 to July 10, along with Alfa Bank, Gazprombank, Uralsib, Troika Dialog, the Russian Bank of Regional Development, and Sberbank, said it had received over 100 bids.

    "Each bid for Rosneft stock totals an average of $1,000," an Aton source said, adding that the largest bid so far exceeded $1 million.

    The source said major investors and experienced players were likely to appear on July 6-10, the final days of the IPO.

    Bella Zlatkis, deputy board chairperson of Sberbank, a main IPO coordinator, said the public had been reasonably proactive.

    "In our assessment, the population's interest [in Rosneft shares] is absolutely normal," she said. "Several thousand individuals have signed agreements to buy the stock."

    The minimum bid to buy shares has been set at 15,000 rubles ($555). The IPO, Russia's largest this year, will allow thousands of Russians to become shareholders in Rosneft, which has emerged as the country's second largest oil producer recently.

    Rosneft is expected to fix the price per share on July 14, when the books are closed. The company, with an estimated market capitalization of $60-$80 billion, earlier said the price could range from $5.85 to $7.85.

    Rosneft also plans to float its shares in London later in July. Experts say the IPO could bring the company $8-$20 billion.

    Russia's respected business daily Kommersant reported Tuesday that Prime Minster Mikhail Fradkov had approved the issue of 14.27% of Rosneft's shares. After consolidating subsidiaries and paying off its treasury stock, Rosneft will be able to float about 12.7% of shares, the paper said.

    The global coordinators and book-runners for the Rosneft IPO are ABN AMRO Rothschild, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, JPMorgan Securities Ltd., and Morgan Stanley & Co. International Limited.

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