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Moscow Exchange sets $4.6 bn IPO valuation target

This picture taken on January 15, 2009 shows the MICEX-RTS stock exchange in Moscow. Russia's main stock exchange said that its initial public offering, set to be held later this month, will value the company at $4.0-4.6 billion (2.9-3.4 billion euros).

Russia's main stock exchange said on Monday that its initial public offering set to be held in Moscow later this month will value the company at $4.0-4.6 billion (2.9-3.4 billion euros).

The Moscow Exchange -- formed in a 2011 merger of the MICEX and RTS bourses -- set its price range at 55-61 rubles ($1.84-$2.10 / 1.34-1.54 euros) per share for the February 15 listing.

The exchange said in a statement that it hoped to raise more than $500 million from the offering so that it can boost the capitalisation of its clearing subsidiary and improve its IT infrastructure.

The authorities hope that a successful IPO will help encourage others to forgo financial capitals such as Hong Kong or London and list instead in Moscow to improve the city's business climate.

The ruble-denominated MICEX exchange and dollar-denominated RTS are dominated by trading in just a few major companies such as the natural gas giant Gazprom and top Russian bank Sberbank.

But other companies' decisions to raise capital abroad has held off realisation of President Vladimir Putin's dream of making Moscow into a global financial powerhouse.

The combined MICEX-RTS exchange was valued at $4.5 billion at the time of its merger.

The Moscow Exchange has 2.197 billion shares and includes the Central Bank and Sberbank as its two main shareholders.

Neither intends to part with their 23.4-percent and 10.3-percent respective stakes. The shares will be offered by the MICEX exchange and its main subsidiary.

The Moscow Exchange posted a $215 million profit in the first nine months of last year.