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No IPO For Gazprombank in 'Foreseeable Future'

Gazprombank is not planning an initial public offering in London for at least the foreseeable future, two sources connected with the bank said Monday.

The news follows a London newspaper report that the financial arm of gas monopoly Gazprom is seeking to list about 25 percent of its equity in the next few months, but one of the sources said the suggestion was "absurd."

The second source said the "foreseeable future" meant at no time in 2010.

The bank declined comment.

The speculation surrounding Gazprombank comes amid a cascade of Russian companies seeking to take advantage of the recovery in financial market conditions and go public.

Representatives from major banks including Nomura and Credit Suisse told a recent IPO conference in Moscow that Russian firms could raise a minimum of $5 billion from 2010 flotations — not including the $2.5 billion already raised by aluminum giant United Company RusAl in Hong Kong.

A $5 billion figure would be up from just $0.1 billion last year but well below the $21 billion peak in 2007.

The IPO market has been heating up across Europe, but investors have yet to show clear signs that they are as enthusiastic as the bankers trying to get the deals away.

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