Russia's largest goldminer Polyus Gold leaves the London Stock Exchange today.
Polyus was taken over by a shell company Sacturino, which is controlled by billionaire Suleiman Kerimov's family. Their company, Wandle Holdings, was the majority 40 per cent stakeholder in Polyus and completed its compulsory acquisition early in November.
It's the latest in a flurry of Russian companies, including Eurasia Drilling Company, Russia's largest driller, who are leaving London's markets.
Mike Flockhart, partner at Herbert Smith Freehills told City A.M.:
There has been pressure building within Russia for companies holding strategic Russian assets to "de-offshorise", and abandon their non-Russian listings.
There is a risk that if such companies do not de-offshorise they may be subject to adverse tax outcomes or limited access to debt finance in Russia, amongst other consequences which could be damaging to their business. We expect the trend of de-offshorisation to continue.
Kirill Chuyko, head of equity research at Russian-specialists BCS Financial Group, has said previously falling commodities prices are putting pressure on many of Russia's mining and associated companies, forcing them to de-list.
“Each company has a specific reason, but the common one is that investors’ appetite for commodities-related stocks, especially from the emerging markets, is exhausted,” Chuyko said.
OJSC Polyus Gold, a Russia domiciled public company that is 95 per cent controlled by Polyus Gold, will become the principal holding company for the group's assets and will retain its listing on the Moscow Stock Exchange.