• Bank of Russia may sell more metal to Norilsk this year
  • Russia started to sell palladium after prices rebounded

GMK Norilsk Nickel PJSC bought 10,000 ounces of palladium from Russia’s central bank in the first purchase for a $200 million fund, according to two people familiar with the matter.

More acquisitions may follow, said the people, declining to be identified as the information is not public. The deal was done in the spring when palladium prices started to rebound, one of the people said.

Norilsk, the world’s largest palladium producer, is buying metal for a fund that aims to reduce volatility and strengthen the company’s market position, according to a statement in February. Norilsk has discussed buying metal from the Russian central bank since 2014, but talks stalled at the beginning of the year when prices tumbled to a five-year low, people familiar with the matter said in January.

Palladium jumped more than 30 percent from mid-January through late April, reaching $635.41 an ounce, the highest since November. The metal has since pulled back and traded at $542.18 as of 9:31 a.m. in London.

Norilsk plans to spend less than one third, or $66 million, of the fund buying palladium this year, Chief Financial Officer Sergey Malyshev told reporters in Moscow on June 14.

Press services for Norilsk and the central bank declined to comment.

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