February 15, 2018 / 1:35 PM / 10 months ago

Russia's Polyus sold more gold last year to bailed-out bank Otkritie

MOSCOW, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Russia’s largest gold producer Polyus sold more gold last year to Otkritie bank, which was rescued last August by the country’s central bank, Polyus’s 2017 management report showed on Thursday.

Russian gold producers usually sell their product to Russian banks which then sell it on to the central bank or export it. The biggest players in this market are Russia’s two largest lenders - Sberbank and VTB.

Otkritie had a significantly smaller share in the gold market, Polyus chief executive Pavel Grachev told Reuters in September.

Polyus’s management report for 2017, published on Thursday, showed that 34 percent of Polyus’s 2017 revenue was received from sales to Otkritie, or $909 million. This compared with 23 percent in 2016. In 2017, Polyus sold a total of 2.16 million troy ounces of gold for $2.7 billion.

The increase in gold sales puts Otkritie in second place among Polyus’s customers, overtaking Sberbank, whose share of Polyus’s sales fell to 19 percent from 27 percent in 2017, according to the financial reports. VTB’s share of Polyus’s sales remained flat at 37 percent in 2017.

Polyus did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment.

Formerly Russia’s largest private bank, Otkritie was put under the central bank’s administration in August last year, after rapid expansion and making risky investments.

Polyus’s 2017 management report followed publication of its 2017 financial results on Thursday. ($1 = 56.6383 roubles) (Reporting by Diana Asonova; writing by Polina Ivanova and Polina Devitt; Editing by Jane Merriman)

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