Shares in Polymetal International (Polymetal) have nosedived 29.2 per cent on the London Stock Exchange this afternoon, following the gold and silver miner’s confirmation it is weighing up a UK exit.
The company confirmed it is considering moving its parent company’s domicile and primary listing, currently in Jersey and London respectively, to “Russia-friendly” Kazakhstan.
It believed the move “could unblock the ability to execute further corporate actions,” following a review process it began last September.
Polymetal said: “As previously announced, the company has continued to evaluate all available options to modify its asset holding structure in order to maximise shareholder value.”
The miner carries out exploration and production across six regions of Russia,
So far, it has not been directly hit with Western sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February.
However, Polymetal has suffered from the impact of sanctions as Western investors, bankers, and shippers have reduced their dealings with Russian companies.
Alongside fellow Russian commodity producer Evraz, the company was booted off the FTSE 100 amid a downturn in trading performance.
This is despite strong underlying production results – with the company revealing robust fourth quarter trading.
Its fourth-quarter revenue jumped 30 per cent year-on-year to $1bn, as it offloaded its metal and concentrate inventory accumulated in the three previous quarters this year.
The сompany’s gold equivalent output, a mix of gold and other metals, increased 16 per cent year-on-year in the quarter to 540,000 troy ounces – driven by the contribution of the Nezhda deposit and strong grades at Kyzyl.
For the full year, Polymetal’s output increased by two per cent to 1.71m ounces of gold equivalent, in line with its production guidance.
However, the company’s revenue for 2022 fell by three per cent to $2.8bn on the back of lower average gold and silver prices.
Polymetal now expects the gap between production and sales to close in the first half of 2023.
It also maintained the company’s current production guidance for 2023 of 1.7m ounces of gold equivalent and saw capital spending of $700-750m.
When approached for comment, Polymetal confirmed it already has an AIX listing in Kazakhstan, and wants to maintain its London listing.
However, the spokesperson confirmed the company is planning a re-domiciliation of the holding company from Jersey to the special jurisdiction of Astana Financial Centre in Kazakhstan.