Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on the results of Vneshtorgbank’s initial public offer
Alexei Kudrin: We have carried out an initial public offer of shares in Vneshtorgbank. Vneshtorgbank was 100-percent state-owned, but now an IPO has been carried out for 22.5 percent of the shares. The IPO has raised a sum of $8 billion. Demand for the shares was very high – 7.5 times greater than the amount of shares offered. Thirty-five percent of the shares were placed on the Russian market and 65 percent on the London stock exchange. Russian citizens and physical persons invested a total of more than $1.5 billion in the IPO. This is the biggest IPO yet carried out by a Russian company.
President Vladimir Putin: Approximately how many Russian citizens took part?
Alexei Kudrin: More than 130,000. This is more than the total number who took part in the Sberbank and Rosneft IPOs, and they also invested a bigger total sum.
The world’s leading investment funds also took part in the IPO. The most solid strategic and institutional investors also took part, and what’s more, they took part within the limits of the price that was ultimately set at 13.6 kopecks per share. As I said, all investors participated very solidly at this price, and this enabled Vneshtorgbank’s consultants and managements to choose a structure for the investment package itself that would ensure these investors’ long-term participation in the bank’s shares. Of course, this is also a sign of the high level of confidence investors have today in the Russian banking sector and in its development outlook, and indeed, the sector is forecast to grow over the coming years. In 2006 alone, the banking sector’s capitalisation increased by 37 percent (over the course of just one year). This shows that the banking sector is now one of the most attractive sectors for investment in the Russian Federation.
Vladimir Putin: What is the state’s share in Vneshtorgbank today?
Alexei Kudrin: The state’s share comes to more than 78 percent and the state has a controlling stake and, as things stand now, still has a blocking stake.
Healthcare and Social Development Minister Mikhail Zurabov on demographic results for the first quarter of 2007
Mikhail Zurabov: According to the state statistics agency, the decline in the death rate that began last year has continued in the first quarter of this year. The mortality rate in the Russian Federation dropped by 9.1 percent in the first quarter compared to last year’s level. In absolute figures, this represents 47,500 fewer deaths. Last year, the decline in the death rate came to 138,000 fewer deaths overall for the year. The infant mortality rate is also continuing to fall and decreased by more than 12.4 percent in the first quarter, and we are seeing an overall positive trend in terms of more births and lower natural population decline. Natural population decline was down by 28.8 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. Overall then the trend is positive.