Qiwi Advances in Nasdaq Debut After $213 Million Sale

Qiwi Plc, an instant-payment operator, rose in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market after raising $213 million in the second initial public offering by a Russian company this year.

The stock rose 0.5 percent to $17.08 in New York, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 1.1 percent.

The company priced 12.5 million American depositary shares at $17 apiece, according to a statement issued yesterday. Shareholders, including billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s Mail.ru Group, sold the stock and granted the underwriters of the sale options on 1.875 million securities. The deal was priced in the middle of the $16 to $18 per share offer range.

Qiwi, based in Nicosia, Cyprus, enables merchants to accept cash and electronic payments from as many as 65 million customers a month, according to the statement. The company runs 11 million so-called virtual wallets co-branded with Visa Inc. and operates cash-collecting terminals and kiosks. Revenue last year totaled $293 million, and profit attributable to shareholders amounted to $30 million, Qiwi said.

Russia’s market for electronic payments probably doubled to as much as 250 billion rubles ($8.1 billion) in 2012 and Qiwi wallet, a system of electronic payments, “grew faster than the market,” Boris Kim, the company’s chairman, said in an interview at Nasdaq’s headquarters today. “The market grows so fast that it’s too early to talk about any serious competition in the next few years.”

WebMoney and Yandex.Money are the biggest rivals for Qiwi, and the company benefits from operating both terminals and kiosks that accept cash for payments, according to Kim. OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank, bought 75 percent of Yandex.Money in December.

Second IPO

Yandex NV, owner of Russia’s most-used search engine, also trades on the Nasdaq and is up 4 percent since its 2011 IPO.

Qiwi is the second Russian company to hold an IPO this year after the Moscow Exchange raised 15 billion rubles in the biggest debut on a Russian bourse since 2007. Qiwi initially applied to raise $100 million before increasing the offering.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Credit Suisse Group SA acted as joint bookrunners for the offering, and Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., Renaissance Capital, William Blair & Co. LLC were co-managers, according to the statement.

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