MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's top gold producer Polyus (>> Polyus Zoloto OAO) will offer between 7 and 9 percent of its shares, including new shares, in its planned stock offer in London and Moscow, it said on Thursday as it set a price range.
The price range was set at $33.25-$35.30 per global depositary share in London, corresponding to a price of $66.50-$70.60 per ordinary share in Moscow, Polyus said in a statement. The latter will be paid in roubles.
The company said the price range would result in a market capitalisation of between $8.5 billion and $9 billion on a pre-money, fully diluted basis, including treasury shares. Final pricing of the offer is expected on June 30.
Analysts said the price range looked attractive even though the timing of the offer, which is likely to test appetite for Russian assets and is the first major offering on the Moscow market in 2017, comes as Russian shares are hit by concerns about new U.S. sanctions and weaker oil prices.
"It is not the best moment for the placement, of course. It could significantly complicate the placement," said Kirill Chuyko at BCS Investment Bank.
Moscow's rouble-traded MICEX index <.MCX> hit its lowest level since March 2016 on Thursday after the U.S. Senate voted for new sanctions punishing Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
Shares in Polyus, which is listed on the Moscow Exchange with a free float of 6.76 percent, were down 2 percent at 4,367 roubles ($75.9).
However, Polyus is a pure producer of gold, considered a safe haven during times of political and financial uncertainty, and its production costs are relatively low. Prices for the precious metal <XAU=> are near a three-weak low this week but up 10 percent this year.
Polyus delisted from the London Stock Exchange in late 2015 after Western sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis began to bite for Russian companies.
It returns to London buoyed by a recent $887 million deal to sell a 10 percent stake to a Chinese consortium led by Fosun International (>> Fosun International Limited).
The Chinese deal had valued Polyus at $70.6 per share, which is equal to the upper end of the price range for its share offer.
"Polyus looks attractive in this price range, the upper end of which coincides with the price of the previously announced deal with Fosun," Vadim Kotikov, analyst at Uralsib, said.
Polyus plans to raise $400 million from the sale of new shares and plans to use the proceeds to repay some of its debt and finance projects. Further proceeds from the sale of existing shares will go to its controlling shareholder, the family of Russian tycoon Suleiman Kerimov.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt and Diana Asonova; Editing by Katya Golubkova and Susan Fenton)
By Polina Devitt