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Rosgosstrakh denies ownership change rumors

PAO Rosgosstrakh on Dec. 8 denied news reports about ownership changes in the group after Gazeta.ru reported the day before that an unnamed large Russian private bank was to become the new owner of the insurance company.

The company noted, however, that it plans an additional share issue and is involved in negotiations with investors interested in purchasing large stakes in the offering. Citing market sources, Banki.ru said Dec. 8 that Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank and JSC VTB Bank, which already owns a 3.76% stake in Rosgosstrakh, are the most likely candidates for the purchase of large holdings in the company.

Rosgosstrakh plans to issue 116,125,935,230 additional shares at a price of 40 Russian kopecks apiece, raising up to 46.4 billion rubles under the planned offering approved by its shareholders Nov. 24, Banki.ru reported. It added that the insurer needs additional capital in order to strengthen its market position in 2017 and possibly the years ahead.

Rosgosstrakh, currently controlled by RGS Holding, posted an RAS net loss of 4.3 billion rubles for the first nine months of 2016, the news report noted.

As of Dec. 8, US$1 was equivalent to 63.40 Russian rubles.