LONDON: Polymetal, Russian gold and silver miner plans, to keep its London Stock Exchange listing intact and hopes to attract some of the US shareholders lost at the height of tensions between Moscow and the West, a senior executive said.
Fellow Russian miner Nordgold and Russian homebuilder PIK Group have decided to leave the London market, saying their market capitalisation did not reflect their value.
But Polymetal’s Chief Financial Officer Maxim Nazimok said it would stay in the FTSE and that its diverse shareholder base with a free float exceeding half the shares in issue set it apart from those that had withdrawn.
“We are driving towards a Western-style shareholder base and we would like to expand it further. For example, the US shareholders we lack since the emergence of the geopolitical tensions and sanctions, we would very much welcome them back,” he told Reuters.
Relations between the West and Moscow deteriorated with Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and sanctions remain in place.
Nazimok said the London listing had been “an important source of capital” for Polymetal, which on Wednesday reported a 79 per cent rise in net earnings for 2016, when it also bought two major new assets. “Shares as an acquisition currency have served us pretty well not only with small deals but also with large ones,” he said.
“Being a publicly listed company is also helpful in securing debt financing. Banks, both Russian and European, are much more comfortable dealing with us knowing that we remain a listed company.”