Sberbank’s UK Listing: the Beginning of a Trend?

Russia is expected later on Tuesday to close the share sale in London and Moscow of a $5 billion stake it owns in Sberbank after attracting strong interest in what analysts said was another move by the Russian government to advance reforms in the country and offer investors the chance to buy into fast-growing companies.

The offering of the 7.6 percent stake in Russia’s largest bank by assets, which Russia owns through its central bank, was twice oversubscribed, sources told Reuters.

"The banks in general, ports, it's all part of a privatization and reform agenda which Putin is trying to push because he has to get growth up to keep the population happy," Charles Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital, told CNBC.

Sberbank’s public offering on the London Stock Exhange is part of a wider trend, Diebel said. He said there was less liquidity in Moscow, which adds to the temptation for Russian companies to seek a listing abroad.

Mobile phone operator MegaFon, controlled by Russia's richest man Alisher Usmanov, is preparing a London flotation to give investors the chance to buy into a telecoms company that is outpacing its peers in a growing home market.

The MegaFon offering would be the largest IPO by a Russian company since state bank VTB raised $8 billion in 2007.

Russian health care provider MD Medical Group announced on Monday that it aims to raise at least $150 million to fund the expansion of its clinic and hospital network in what would be the first London IPO by a Russian health care provider.

Russian bank Promsvyazbank also took steps towards a long-awaited foreign listing earlier this month when it asked the local market regulator for permission to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange.

Other notable Russian IPOs on foreign exchange markets include aluminium group Rusal's $2.2 billion listing in Hong Kong in 2010 and Internet search engine Yandex's $1.4 billion float on the U.S. Nasdaq exchange in May 2011.

by Liza Jansen, special to Follow her on twitter: @lizajansen