Alrosa might be considered the king of diamonds. It is the world’s largest rough diamond producer by volume, with almost 1bn carats of resources.
It’s certainly the king of privatisations, as far as 2013 is concerned. A stake of 16 per cent stake in the company was sold for $1.3bn in an IPO on Monday, making it Russia’s first state privatistion of the year.
Alrosa, Russia’s state diamond producer, has held back rough diamond supplies this year in a bid to shore up sagging world prices for luxury sparkling gems. With no end to the downturn in sight, the company is taking a new tack, securing long term diamond sales contracts with global jewellery retailers willing to guarantee purchases even in challenging times.
Another week, another iteration to Russia’s constantly-evolving privatisation programme.
At a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Russia’s economy minister announced that the government would now aim to raise Rb260bn ($8bn) to Rb270bn next year with the sale of up to 5 per cent of Russian Railways, 25.5 per cent of lender VTB and 7 per cent of diamond miner Alrosa.
By Catherine Belton and Stefan Wagstyl
The rise of Ziyavudin Magomedov’s Summa Group from little-known oil pipeline builder to co-owner operator of Russia’s biggest ports group is testimony to the appearance of a new generation of oligarchs in Russia, this time with close ties to Dmitry Medvedev, the outgoing president who now serves as prime minister.
Summa is positioning itself to benefit from a new state sell-off of assets being driven by Medvedev that could eventually lead to the biggest transfer of state ownership since the privatisations of the 1990s.