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Polymetal Targets MSCI Index With Start of Trading in Moscow

Polymetal International Plc, the Russian gold producer that will be removed from the FTSE 100 benchmark stock index this month, plans to begin trading its shares in Moscow to broaden the company’s investor base.

Trading on the Moscow stock exchange is scheduled to start June 20, Polymetal said today in a statement on its website. One of its minority holders will sell as many as 2 million shares valued at about $20 million to be traded in the Russian capital, Chief Executive Officer Vitaly Nesis said in a phone interview.

Polymetal moved its share listing from Moscow almost two years ago in an attempt to tap new investors. Its shares have slumped by about 20 percent since the company gained a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange in October 2011.

The Moscow listing is also part of an effort to gain inclusion in the MSCI Russia benchmark, Nesis said.

Pension funds will be able to invest in Polymetal’s shares, and the stock will also be eligible for inclusion in the Russian central bank’s Lombard list, which means investors qualify for financing from state banks using the securities, Nesis said. It will still trade in the FTSE 250 Index. “We are optimistic and hope to get back to the FTSE 100 one day,” Nesis said.

Evraz, another Russian commodity company that will exit the FTSE 100 this month, is also considering a Moscow listing, its press service said today.

Polyus Gold International Ltd., the third Russian metals producer with a primary listing in London, will assess the reaction to Polymetal’s Moscow trading before making any decision on a similar move.

“We will see how the Moscow listing works out for our colleagues first,” Sergey Lavrinenko, a Polyus Gold spokesman, said by e-mail today.

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