MTS to assess need of listing in NY, Moscow may become primary mkt
MOSCOW, Feb 8 (PRIME) -- Major Russian mobile operator MTS will assess whether it needs listing in New York in view of high expenses on its maintenance and will consider an increase of volume of trading in Moscow, the operator said on Friday in a statement.
“MTS…today announces the beginning of a review of the company’s equity capital markets strategy and existing listing structure. The goal of the review is to evaluate the company’s equity financial strategies to optimize available liquidity, and minimize the costs, relative to the benefits achieved, for both the company and its investors,” the statement read.
“The company’s public free-float structure remains largely unchanged since its IPO in 2000. We believe that it is now an opportune time to consider our capital markets and listing framework in the context of global developments and the company’s operational realities.”
MTS will consider evidence of a global trend in shifting liquidity toward local exchanges and home markets, increased prominence of the Moscow Exchange, and MTS’ increasing financial and operational focus toward the local market.
“Within the scope of the review, the company is seeking to assess the available mechanisms to increase liquidity and trading volumes on the Moscow Exchange, evaluate current allocation of the traded free-float and to review a potential listing structure where Moscow may become the primary market for MTS shares. The review will also examine whether or not having the company’s listing in the U.S. with associated costs continues to serve the best interests of MTS’ shareholders, or whether a listing elsewhere may be preferable,” the operator said.
The management board instructed the investor relations team to initiate a consultation process with institutional investors to gather feedback and analyze investor views on the company’s capital markets’ structure and current allocation of the free-float.
Andrey Kamensky, vice president of finance, investments, and M&A, said, “We want to engage with investors to discuss their preferences, ability and any potential restrictions in relation to different listing options. This consultation is not about any immediate decisions…This public announcement will ensure that our investors are not exposed to any regulatory risks as they engage with us in a frank and open dialogue on the subject.”
MTS’ common shares lost 3.72% to 252.05 rubles as of 4.20 p.m. Moscow time.
(66.0199 rubles – U.S. $1)