UPDATE 1-Russia’s Polyus Gold considers call to come home
MOSCOW, April 11 (Reuters) – Polyus Gold, Russia’s biggest gold miner, is considering state proposals to encourage the rebasing of Russian firms currently owned by offshore entities and intends to explore these issues with the government, the company said on Friday.
The comments of the Jersey-registered company, whose share listing is in London, makes it the first company to publicly respond to the call by officials for such companies to come home following Western threats to tighten sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
“As a company with operating assets wholly located in Russia, the Board recognises that these developments (government proposals) may have particular implications for the company’s business and development plans,” Polyus said in a statement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been pushing for the so-called “de-offshorisation” of the Russian economy, whereby companies with offshore entities re-register them in Russia and pay taxes in Russia.
Earlier this week First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov urged companies listed on foreign stock exchanges to consider relisting in Moscow to protect themselves from sanctions imposed by the West over Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Polyus’s biggest shareholder is Russian tycoon Suleiman Kerimov, who owns 40.22 percent.
The company declined to comment on whether it would also consider delisting from London. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Alessandra Prentice, Greg Mahlich)