3 Min Read
* Russian state holding company "can consider anything"
* Sechin says oil major Rosneft not interested
* Kerimov under pressure to sell after Uralkali quit cartel
* Kremlin seen wanting to revive Russia-Belarus alliance
SOCHI, Russia, Sept 16 (Reuters) - The owners of Russian potash producer Uralkali have yet to make an offer to sell their shares, Igor Sechin, the chairman of state holding company Rosneftegaz, said on Monday, leaving the door open to a potential nationalisation.
Shares of Uralkali rose on Monday on speculation that Russian tycoon Suleiman Kerimov, the main owner of Uralkali, may sell his stake in a Kremlin-backed deal aimed at reviving a marketing alliance with Belarus.
Speculation that Kerimov will sell his stake has mounted since Uralkali triggered a row with Minsk by pulling out of the cartel with state-owned Belaruskali in July.
Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner was arrested on Aug. 26 in Minsk and has been charged with abuse of office.
"Rosneftegaz can consider anything, if someone makes an approach ... But Rosneftegaz has not received such an offer," Sechin said in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in response to a reporter's question.
Kerimov owns 21.75 percent of Uralkali through his foundation. He and his partners together control a 46.5 percent stake in the world's top producer of the fertiliser ingredient.
In an unsourced front-page report on Monday, financial daily Vedomosti outlined as many as seven potential sale options for Kerimov and his partners.
Rosneftegaz, which has cash in hand thanks to the dividend streams it receives from its energy holdings, was one potential buyer, Vedomosti said, citing two bankers and a source close to Uralkali.
Speaking in his capacity as CEO of Rosneft, Sechin - an influential associate of President Vladimir Putin - said the state-controlled oil major was not interested in Uralkali.
"Potash does not fall into Rosneft's range of interests. We have other things to do," he said, adding: "Listen, I am not really involved in Uralkali."
A spokesman of Kerimov's investment company Nafta Moskva declined to comment.
Shares in Uralkali rose 6.2 percent to 188.88 roubles, not far from a near seven-week high of 192.3 roubles set last week.
Some investors believe the Kremlin wants to repair the potash alliance - which previously controlled about 40 percent of the world market - in a bid to avert a possible collapse in prices for the soil nutrient.