* Chemezov was nominated by Prokhorov's investment vehicle
* May become the board chairman in the nearest time
(Adds details, context)
MOSCOW, March 24 The head of Russian state
conglomerate Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, joined Uralkali's board of
directors on Monday, Uralkali said, signalling greater
government influence in the world's largest potash producer.
Chemezov, a powerful ally of President Vladimir Putin, was
nominated in February and may become Uralkali's board chairman.
The new board of nine directors was elected on Monday by
Uralkali shareholders, which include Russian
tycoon-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov, businessman Dmitry
Mazepin's Uralchem and a subsidiary of China Investment Corp
The board is due to elect a new chairman "in the nearest
time", the company said in a statement.
Chemezov, Putin's colleague during his posting with the KGB
security service in East Germany in the 1980s, has built up a
state-owned empire that includes the world's biggest titanium
maker, Russia's largest carmaker and one of the world's biggest
He was nominated by Prokhorov's investment vehicle Onexim
because "he commands authority in the world and in Russia and
has relevant experience, which are crucial for the company
following all the drama last year", Onexim said on March 5.
A representative of CIC subsidiary Chengdong Investment
Corp, which holds 12.5 percent of Uralkali shares, has also
joined the board, Uralkali added. The representative Chen Jian
is a CIC non-executive director.
After Uralkali left a joint trading venture with Belarus
last year, potash markets plunged and the Russian company found
itself at the centre of a political row with Belarus, which
eventually led to a change in its shareholders.
Alexander Voloshin, a former Kremlin chief of staff, was
Uralkali board chairman before Monday's election.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Elizabeth Piper)