Russian billionaire Alexander Nesis, a shareholder in precious metals miner OAO Polymetal and potash producer OAO Uralkali, said his Nomos Bank may sell shares to the public next year to help meet domestic demand for financing.
“An IPO makes sense to boost owners equity to stay in compliance with state requirements as the business grows,” Nesis said in an interview in Moscow. “We are studying such an opportunity, while no decision has been taken yet.”
Nomos, Russia’s sixth-largest non-state lender, has borrowed $850 million from foreign banks this year as it increases lending to domestic households and businesses and acquires a regional lender. Nesis’ ICT Group owns about 52 percent of Nomos, while Czech billionaire Petr Kellner controls 28.5 percent and J&T Group has 19 percent.
Russian bank lending to individuals has increased for eight-straight months, while loans to companies have climbed for seven, according to central bank data. Demand for financing began to recover at the end of the first quarter, after the economy shrank 7.9 percent in 2009, the most on record.
Nomos will have to compete for investors if it goes ahead with an IPO in 2011. VTB Capital, the nation’s biggest equity underwriter, expects Russian companies including state and private banks to sell as much as $28 billion of shares publicly next year, the most since 2007, after the country’s benchmark index regained the bulk of its record decline.
Nesis, 47, said Nomos will have about 450 billion rubles ($14.3 billion) of assets by the end of the year, after it completes the acquisition of Khanty-Mansiysk Bank, a lender in the eponymous Siberian oil province. That would make Nomos Russia’s largest non-state lender after Alfa Bank and OAO Promsvyazbank, according to Kommersant Dengi magazine rankings. Nomos expects assets to grow 27 percent next year to about $18 billion on increased lending, Nesis said.
“If our return on equity is below this percent, it means we’ll have to increase shareholder equity so it doesn’t fall below the required threshold of at least 12 percent of the bank’s liabilities,” Nesis said.
Nesis and his partners control about 24 percent of Polymetal, Russia’s largest silver producer, and 13 percent of Uralkali. Those stakes are worth about $3.3 billion combined, according to the companies’ market values at the close of trading on Dec. 1. Forbes magazine in May ranked Nesis the 44th richest Russian, with a fortune of $1.4 billion.