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Russia's Polyus Gold plans gradual free float increase -paper

MOSCOW, April 13 (Reuters) - Polyus Gold, Russia’s largest gold producer, may place at least 5 percent of its shares in Moscow in the next few months to comply with listing rules, Vedomosti newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The company, controlled by the family of Russian tycoon Suleiman Kerimov, has a free float of 5 percent. It needs to raise this to at least 10 percent to meet the requirements for the first listing level, which the Moscow Exchange upgraded it to on Tuesday.

Polyus plans a gradual increase in its free float but is yet to decide on how to do it, its chief executive Pavel Grachev, told a conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

The company may sell some of its treasury shares, which it holds after a recent buy-back, or shares may be sold by its controlling shareholder, Vedomosti quoted Grachev as saying.

It could be done in several private deals or in a public placement, Grachev told Interfax news agency on Tuesday. Polyus did not immediately comment when contacted by Reuters.

The company’s market value was at 705 billion roubles ($10.7 billion) at the market close on Tuesday, up 29 percent so far this year partially thanks to higher global gold prices.

“We welcome the potential liquidity increase (currently $300,000 traded daily), but this alone would be insufficient to warrant a premium to the market price,” analysts at Aton said.

Polyus secured a credit line worth $2.5 billion from Russia’s largest lender Sberbank earlier this year which it used to finance a $3.4 billion buy-back of its shares from its main shareholder.

$1 = 65.8373 roubles Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Katya Golubkova and Alexander Smith

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