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* Full listing is one of several options - spokeswoman
* Will need to improve corporate governance
* Polymetal, Polyus and Evraz have confirmed full listing
By John Bowker
MOSCOW, Oct 31 Russian potash miner Uralkali
is considering a full stock market listing in London
next year as one of several options for improving shareholder
value, but first needs to improve its corporate governance
standards, a spokeswoman said on Monday.
Three Russian mining companies -- Polymetal ,
Polyus Gold and Evraz HK1q.L -- have also announced
plans to launch full London listings in recent weeks, hoping to
broaden their shareholder base and improve access to capital.
The trio hope to achieve entry to the FTSE 100 ,
which would make them the first Russian stocks to join the
Such a move could also help the companies clinch merger and
acquisition deals, or make them more attractive takeover
Uralkali, the world's second-biggest producer of
the fertiliser ingredient potash, has said in the past it wants
to buy a controlling stake in Belarussian trading partner
Belaruskali, but does not yet have enough information to value
Uralkali could follow the three other Russian miners to a
full London listing in 2012, a company spokeswoman said, though
the move was only one of several options available and was far
from set in stone.
"It is not a set plan -- just one of the options we are
exploring for next year. We are working towards improving
corporate governance and information disclosure so that if
investors say they want a premium listing we will be prepared
for that," she said.
The company has not appointed banks for such a move, she
said. The idea had been floated by Uralkali Chief Executive
Vladislav Baumgertner at the Reuters Russia Investment Summit
earlier this year.
Shares in Uralkali were up 2.2 percent at 0800 GMT,
outperforming the wider Moscow market. They have risen 24
percent since the start of October, valuing the group at more
than $28 billion.
Uralkali, which is controlled by billionaire oligarch
Suleiman Kerimov and associates, already has a secondary London
listing in the form of global depository receipts (GDRs) and the
spokeswoman said investors are satisfied with the setup.
The company has also launched a $2.5 billion share buyback
and pledged to pay at least 50 percent of its earnings in
dividends to deliver returns for shareholders.
Polymetal's Alexander Nesis is also a 12.16 percent owner of
Uralkali, according to Uralkali's website, making him the
second-biggest shareholder behind Kerimov.
Uralkali merged with fellow Russian potash producer Silvinit
-- also part-owned by Kerimov -- earlier this year.
The company was forced to defend the terms of the deal in
court after a legal claim by fertiliser group and minor Silvinit
shareholder Acron , but was eventually cleared to
complete the tie-up.
The Uralkali spokeswoman said an example of improved
corporate governance at the firm was the presence on the board
of three independent directors, including former Legal & General
Chairman Sir Robert Margetts and former Kremlin Chief
of Staff Alexander Voloshin.
Among other Russian companies which have made a similar
move, Polymetal, a gold and silver miner part-owned by tycoons
Alexander Nesis and Alexander Mamut, raised nearly 491 million
pounds ($792.7 million) when debuting on the main London market
($1 = 0.619 British Pounds)
(Additional reporting by Megan Davies and Stephen Mangan;
Editing by David Holmes)