Merrill Lynch is preparing to bring two Russian property companies to the main market of the London Stock Exchange in an attempt to rescucitate the market for new listings. Sunday Telegraph

The investment bank has held preliminary talks with investors over the initial public offerings, each of which is understood to be worth more than £1bn.

Federico Aliboni, an investment banker with Merrill Lynch, intends to start marketing the flotations at the end of September. He declined to name the two companies he was working with, but it is understood they are development-based firms focusing on mixed use residential, office and retail schemes.

Aliboni said: ‘We think that the Russian real estate market is an interesting one and growth is set to be far stronger than the rest of Europe. The real issue we have is valuation and how much the recent events have affected the underlying market.’

However, a source said: ‘Given the volatility in the market I would be very surprised if anyone tried to list a stock at the moment, and even more surprised if they got any traction. The markets are very cheap, so it begs the question of why you would buy a new stock at net asset value when you can have an existing one at a significant discount.’