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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Norilsk Backs Power Spin-Off

Norilsk Nickel said Friday that its board approved a near doubling in its interim dividend payout and the spin-off of its energy assets.

The board recommended paying a nine-month interim dividend of 108 rubles ($4.38) per share. For the full year of 2006 Norilsk paid a dividend of 176 rubles, including 56 rubles for the first nine months.

Norilsk pays out at least 20 percent to 25 percent of its net profit under international financial reporting standards in dividends.

Norilsk said the dividend size had yet to be approved by its shareholders at an extraordinary meeting due to be held on Dec. 21. The ex-dividend date is Nov. 13.

In the first nine months of this year Norilsk's nickel output was 214,000 tons, up 17 percent on the same period last year. But copper output declined 2.2 percent to 312,000 tons, palladium output fell 2.9 percent to 2.352 million ounces and platinum fell 3.2 percent to 557,000 ounces.

The board has also approved a plan to spin off Norilsk's noncore energy assets into a separate company, to be called Energy Polyus, which shareholders are to due to consider at another extraordinary meeting on Dec. 14, Norilsk said in a separate statement. It did not give details of the plan, saying they would be published on its web site before Nov. 14.

The Norilsk Nickel board also proposed Sergei Tazin as Energy Polyus' chief. Tazin, 46, is currently executive director of Norilsk-controlled power-generation company OGK-3. Energy Polyus has a potential market capitalization of $7 billion, according to an estimate made by Norilsk chief executive Denis Morozov during an Oct. 8 interview.

Reuters, Bloomberg