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16 November 2011
Russian mining firms eye float in SAR  


By Grace Cao, The Standard (HK)

Three or four Russian mining companies are expected to float shares in Hong Kong in the second and third quarters of 2012, each seeking HK$7.8 billion in funds. 
VTB Capital, the investment arm of Russia's top bank, revealed this when opening an office in the SAR. 
“As part of our international strategy, we hope to be a bank of choice for Asian and emerging market clients, instead of being purely a Russian bank,” said chairman Yuri Soloviev
The Russian investment bank first came to local prominence last year when it was appointed joint bookrunner in the initial public offering of UC Rusal.
The HK$17.47 billion deal made the aluminum giant the first Russian company to list on the Hong Kong main board.  Hong Kong is not the first stop in the region for VTB Capital, but its Singapore office may pale in significance to the Chinese market, given that the mainland is the biggest importer of commodities and  Russia one of the biggest suppliers. 
A sign of this emerges in VTB's plan to expand its payroll to between 30 and 35 from the seven that it is starting with. It is also in the process of recruiting  a regional head. The office's main brief is the brokerage and advisory business.  
The whole VTB Group, meanwhile, is aiming to boost its yuan-related business. In January this year, VTB Bank issued one billion yuan (HK$1.23  billion) worth of dim sum bonds with a three-year  maturity. The retail bank also started accepting yuan deposits from last month. 
Business is booming, with yuan deposits amounting to tens of millions of US dollars since. 
The central parity of the yuan against the US dollar stood at 6.3436 yesterday, down 135 basis points over Monday.

Corporate Communications VTB Capital