By Tim Seymour
As of today, Sberbank is moving from OTC:SBRBF to SBRCY.PK, ahead of a more formal sponsored Level 2 GDR listing in London in September:
The September listing will also free up 7.6% of the state’s Sberbank shares for other investors to get a taste of this company; for many, especially in the U.S. retail channel, it will represent their first chance to buy this or any other Russian bank.
While liquidity will not be terribly strong for awhile, it will definitely be better than it is now. In all, 25% of the free float will move toward the foreign shares, which will be sufficient and will grow.
Goldman Sachs (GS) is making the two-way market in SBRCY for 2 million shares, the equivalent of 8 million shares of the underlying Russian stock. And there will be automatic conversion from the German SBNA stock to the U.S. equivalent, which will help even further.
There is no real reason why SBRCY should not trade like other Russian “pink sheet” names like Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY), Lukoil (OTCPK:LUKOY) and Norilsk Nickel (OTCPK:NILSY), all of which are reasonably liquid.