May 26, 2017 / 12:45 PM / in 2 months

Russian state fund could invest in miner Polyus with China's Fosun: source

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A melter places an ingot of 92.96 percent pure gold at a procession plant of the Olimpiada gold operation, owned by Polyus Gold International company, in Krasnoyarsk region, Eastern Siberia, Russia, June 30, 2015.Ilya Naymushin

MOSCOW/HONG KONG (Reuters) - The state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and China's Fosun International Ltd (0656.HK) could announce an investment in Russia's top gold producer Polyus (PLZL.MM) in early June, a source familiar with the talks told Reuters.

A consortium led by Fosun, one of China's most acquisitive conglomerates, has been in talks since last year to buy a stake in Polyus, controlled by the family of Russian tycoon Suleiman Kerimov, sources with knowledge of the matter have told Reuters.

The deal could be announced during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 1-3, the source said on Friday.

RDIF and Polyus declined to comment. Fosun did not immediately respond to Reuters' emailed request for comment.

RDIF Chief Executive Kirill Dmitriev told reporters on Friday that the fund planned to invest together with a Chinese investor in a large Russian natural resources company and that the deal was expected to be announced during the St Petersburg Forum next week.

Dmitriev declined to disclose the names of the Russian company and the Chinese investor.

Polyus has a market value of about $10 billion.

Russian officials might be keen for a deal announcement during the St Petersburg Forum, the country's annual event to attract investors, as Moscow has been actively seeking investments from China since the West imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014.

Fosun may buy "well below" a 25 percent stake in Polyus with a potential option to increase the stake later, said one of the sources familiar with discussions in April.

Polyus is also considering launching a secondary share offering in London and Moscow in May or June, sources familiar with planning for the listing have said.

Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva and Polina Devitt; additional reporting by Diana Asonova and Julie Zhu; Editing by Alexander Winning and Susan Thomas

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