LONDON — The FTSE 100 looks set to welcome Russian firms for the first time when compiler FTSE Group unveils its quarterly review on Wednesday in the face of calls for the firm to toughen up the entry requirements to Britain's premier stock index.
Recently-listed Russian steelmaker Evraz and precious metals miner Polymetal International are expected to join the internationally focused index.
Investors have recently raised concerns that it is too easy for companies with low free floats and hazy corporate governance standards to enter the index, and this has prompted FTSE to look at tightening its future requirements.
Evraz, 35 percent-owned by Roman Abramovich, only floated on the London Stock Exchange on Nov. 7, while Polymetal, owned by Alexander Nesis and Alexander Mamut, with Czech investor PPF, started conditional trading on the London market on Oct. 28.
The British Listing Authority gave Evraz a waiver to move to a premium London listing despite having a free float of just 20 percent, below the usually required minimum of 25 percent, a spokeswoman for the Russian firm said at the time of its London flotation.
That means, under FTSE's current rules, that Evraz will be eligible for its British index at this latest review.
The introduction of the two miners, which would be the first Russian companies to enter the FTSE 100, would also further increase the influence of resource stocks in the index.
Evraz's shares officially opened London trading on Nov. 7 at 320 pence, and had risen to 396.75 pence by the close Tuesday, valuing the company at £5.32 billion ($8.29 billion).
Polymetal shares, 42 percent in free float and which were initially offered at a price of 920 pence, had risen to 1,010.50 pence by Tuesday's close, valuing the company at £3.88 billion.