The largest Russian silver producer will move to Kazakhstan

The wave of emigration of Russian companies to Kazakhstan, which made Russians the largest investors in the republic’s economy, also extended to big business.

Polymetal, Russia’s biggest silver producer and one of the biggest gold miners, plans to re-register in the Kazakh jurisdiction in the second half of 2023, the company said at an investor day on Wednesday.

Now Polymetal, the largest shareholder of which is the billionaire living in Switzerland, Alexander Nesis, is registered on the island of Jersey. And the “relocation” of the parent company to Kazakhstan would allow it to resume dividend payments to all shareholders, some of whom are now unable to receive them because of EU sanctions against Russian depositories.

It is planned to agree on the mechanism of redistribution before the end of the first quarter, in the second – to hold a meeting of shareholders, and in the third – to “transfer” itself with a possible change in the listing. The company is considering termination of trading in its shares on the London Stock Exchange with their transfer to the site in Astana.

The move to Kazakhstan, Polymetal noted in the presentation, will facilitate the division of the business into Kazakhstan and Russian parts, which the company is considering.

Russian enterprises located in the Magadan and Sverdlovsk regions, as well as in the Khabarovsk Territory, Yakutia and Chukotka, account for about two-thirds of Polymetal’s production. The rest of the company produces at two mines in Kazakhstan, which brought in half of its profit last year.

The divestment of the business could happen in 2024, Nesis said in an interview with the Financial Times. He added that moving to Kazakhstan with the subsequent divestiture of assets would help restore the company’s shareholder value, which has collapsed nearly 7 times since the start of the war in Ukraine.

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