Bank of Russia Improves Access to Capital Markets for Russian Issuers

Amended regulations cancel certain restrictions applicable to international equity offerings of Russian issuers.

Historically, foreign securities offerings by Russian issuers were subject to certain rules and restrictions under Russian securities laws, including:

..The number of shares or depositary receipts representing the shares of a Russian issuer that may be admitted for placement and/or circulation outside Russia was limited to 25% of all issued shares of a Russian issuer

..The number of shares or depositary receipts that could be offered internationally was limited by 50% of all securities offered in the respective offering

..The placement and/or circulation of securities of the Russian issuers outside Russia required a permit from Bank of Russia and a subsequent filing of notice setting out the results of the placement and/or circulation of securities

According to Bank of Russia, these rules and restrictions were first introduced back in 2001 to support the development of domestic financial markets. However, their introduction resulted in wider use of foreign issuer vehicles for international securities offerings of Russian companies, as some foreign jurisdictions offered more issuer-friendly regulatory frameworks and did not impose similar restrictions.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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