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Romania Raises $520M in Romgaz Share IPO

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BUCHAREST, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Romania has sold a 15 percent stake in state-controlled gas producer Romgaz, raising 1.7 billion lei ($520 million) in an initial public share offering which it said was heavily oversubscribed, and plans more listings in the months ahead.

The IPO, in which 60 percent of the Bucharest-listed shares and London-listed Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) were sold to foreign institutional investors, is part of wider privatisation plans agreed with the International Monetary Fund, which has led aid deals for the European Union member since 2009.

Successive governments in Romania have made progress cutting the fiscal deficit but they repeatedly delayed reform of state enterprises and efforts to sell assets have been stop-and-go.

"Energy has won the privatisation bet this year," Gabriel Dumitrascu, the head of the energy ministry's privatisation unit, told reporters. "Three of the top 10 U.S. funds, the same for the UK, are among the shareholders."

Trading in Romgaz GDRs on the London Stock Exchange will start on Nov. 12, when its shares will also start trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.

"With the Romgaz IPO, the Romanian capital market gets onto the global stage," Ludwik Sobolewski, the bourse's chief executive, said in a statement.

Romgaz GDRs will be listed to trade on the regulated market of the London Stock Exchange on Nov. 12 when its shares will also start trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.


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