The owners of Russia's largest toy retailer Detsky Mir have raised $355 million in an initial public offering of shares priced at the bottom of the expected range. As Laura Frykberg reports, it's being seen as a sign investors are making a cautious return to Russian assets.
It may sell games, but Detsky Mir is not playing around. Making an IPO of shares at $1.44 apiece. The highest-profile stock sale by a Russian company since 2014 When the country was hit by western sanctions For its military actions in eastern Ukraine, and subsequent annexation of Crimea. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF RUSSIAN CONGLOMERATE SISTEMA, MIKHAIL SHAMOLIN, SAYING: "This demonstrates that regardless of all the difficulties, the creation, growth and successful share offering of companies like ours is possible and can be put into practice." The company says the sale raised around 355 million dollars. And had bids for more than one and a half times the number of shares on offer. Most came from the U.S and the least, from bidders on home soil. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN DIRECT INVESTMENT FUND (RDIF) CHIEF EXECUTIVE, KIRILL DMITRIEV, SAYING: "We've opened the market for other companies and acted as an example for investors globally, that a good return is achievable in Russia. We retained our majority stake, we think the company will continue to actively grow." And it has. Sales at Detsky Mir rose 30 percent last year - despite a 5 percent fall overall inside Russia. And an economy suffering from a slump in oil prices. The 70-year-old brand which literally translates to 'children's world'. Proving it's not scared off by a challenge or two.