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22 Apr, 2008 19:40

CIS listings in London reach 100

Supermarket chain Magnit has become the 100th CIS company to list on the London Stock Exchange. Despite the worst trading environment in 20 years, the chairman of the LSE claims share placements will pick up by the summer.

The Krasnodar-based major is raising some $US 480 million to expand its 220 outlets into towns with populations of 7,000 to 10,000 people.

“The Russian consumer market is probably the fastest growing in the world, and will soon become the biggest in Europe. We don’t see our growth rates slowing,” said Oleg Goncharov, Head of Investor Relations from Magnit.

Every share placement is currently a blessing for London. Listings are down 90 % in the first quarter of this year.

But at the annual Russian Investment Roadshow the head of the LSE, Chris Gibson-Smith, remained bullish, that the listings rush would return as early as this summer.

“That’s a natural consequence of the credit crunch, the biggest financial crisis in any of our lifetimes. There’s not the borrowing or investor confidence available anywhere in the world. We’ll have to wait until we emerge from this crisis, which may be the middle of this year, second half of this year, the listings will start again,” he said.