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Norilsk Management to Study Buyback, Plan Stock Retirement

OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel’s board, led by billionaire Vladimir Potanin’s Interros Holding, ordered management to study the possibility of buying back as much as a 2 percent stake in the Russian metals producer.

Norilsk management will also prepare proposals on how best to retire a 10 percent stake purchased under a previous buyback program and now held by its units as quasi-treasury shares, according to a statement today on its website.

“We expect management to propose the exact share-retirement plan as soon as the middle of July, as the aim is to cancel the stock by the end of the year,” Andrei Bugrov, Norilsk’s chairman, said in the phone interview from Moscow.

The board has set no deadline for management to lay out the buyback plan, Bugrov said. Proposals on cutting 2012 spending should be ready within a month and a half, he said.

Given the current market situation and volatility, it’s time to think what projects may be postponed, Bugrov said.

Management will consider changes to the strategy to 2025 based on the results from the current year, Norilsk said in the statement. The board plans a preliminary strategy review in September, he said.

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