Potanin Offered Alrosa Stake

Russian authorities have asked tycoon Vladimir Potanin to invest in Alrosa during the upcoming sale of a 14 percent government stake in the diamond producer, Kommersant reported Monday, citing sources.

According to market participants, Suleiman Kerimov, Alfa Group and Viktor Vekselberg have also been offered to participate in the sale.

Analysts differ in assessing the attractiveness of Alrosa, noting that the government needs a loyal investor during the sale of the stake.

Officials fear that foreign investors might buy into the diamond monopoly, the sources said.

Oppenheimer Funds, which used to co-own diamond miner De Beers, has expressed interest in the sale, Kommersant reported. An Oppenheimer Funds representative declined to comment.

(MT)