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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MMK Looks to Morocco for Joint Venture

The country's No. 3 steelmaker Magnitogorsk Steel & Iron, or MMK, signed an agreement with Morocco's Maghreb Steel that could lead to joint production in the country, the company said Monday.

MMK chairman Viktor Rashnikov met with Maghreb officials during a visit to Morocco with President Vladimir Putin last week.

Rasknikov said in a statement that the two firms had reached agreement Monday on possible joint production in Morocco.

MMK's previous attempt to break into foreign markets was foiled after a legal challenge in Pakistan.

In August, MMK canceled a share offering on MICEX, fearing a slump in emerging markets. The company had been seeking to sell 2 percent of its shares ahead of an initial public offering planned for next year. "For now nothing concrete has been decided, but we are exploring the possibility of having dealings" in Morocco, MMK spokesperson Yelena Azovtseva said Monday.

"MMK is having a look around just to see what's out there," said Michael Kavanagh, a metals analyst at MDM Bank. Any deal between MMK, Russia's largest stand-alone steel plant, and Maghreb Steel would be a "drop in the bucket," he said.