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Gold miner may revive London listing after Russian asset sale

25th September 2023

By: Bloomberg

  

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Polymetal International CEO Vitaly Nesis said the gold miner may revive its London listing once its sanctioned Russian unit has been sold.

Polymetal, which generates about 70% of its sales from Russia and the remainder from Kazakhstan, re-domiciled from Jersey to Astana last month. That re-domiciling was a first step toward spinning off its Russian business — to meet restrictions imposed by Moscow — and made it impossible to retain its London listing.

However, the unit was put on sale when it was added to a US sanctions list in May. When that sale is completed, Polymetal will reconsider listing alternatives that previously included the United Arab Emirates.

“When the Russian assets are offloaded, we may consider it again, but probably it will be London rather than Dubai or Abu Dhabi,” Nesis said in phone interview.

So far, Polymetal has received interest in the Russian business from more than 10 bidders, Nesis said. “Those are investors not only from Russia, but also from China as some Chinese companies are ready to take sanctions risks,” he said.

For now, the two parts of the group are fully separated, both in terms of funding and management decisions, according to Nesis.

“As CEO I just get periodical reports on what is happening in the Russian unit,” he said. While sanctions halted Russian sales for several months, they have now resumed, Nesis added.

Since Russian assets can’t be developed, Polymetal is looking at alternative options, according to the CEO. “We are studying some assets in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan,” he said.

Edited by Bloomberg

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