Author: Kim Iskyan
Boris Yeltsin: Russias first freely elected president
After rising roughly 40-fold over the past eight years, the Russian equity market finds itself in the unusual position of being one of the world’s weakest performers in the year to date, with a small decline since the beginning of the year. A bulging initial and secondary offering pipeline—in Russia and in the emerging markets overall—has absorbed liquidity, with roughly $13 billion raised by Russian companies via public offerings over the past month (as of mid-May) alone.
The rising profile of Russian businesses on the global stage was reflected in the mid-May acquisition of a $1.5 billion stake in Canadian car parts maker Magna by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who controls Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum company. Just a few weeks earlier it was announced that Deripaska was buying a €1.2 billion stake in Strabag SE, Austria’s largest builder. On another front, in early May Russian miner Norilsk Nickel launched a $4.8 billion takeover bid for nickel producer LionOre, topping a bid by rival global miner Xstrata.