UralKali postpones full London listing

12.04.2012
Helen Thomas / The Financial Times (UK)

UralKali, the world’s largest potash producer, is unlikely to seek a full London listing this year, but plans to improve its corporate governance.

Vladislav Baumgertner, the Russian company’s chief executive, said that after discussions with investors the company did not see an immediate need to upgrade its global depositary receipt listing, which allows international investors to buy shares in the company.

"I don’t think that should be a priority for us," said Mr Baumgertner, after UralKali on Wednesday reported a 64 per cent increase in net profit to $1.53bn last year. "If the board of directors decides to go for a full listing we can move relatively quickly. But we don’t believe this will create additional value for the company in the short term."

But Mr Baumgertner, who had previously expressed frustration that high-profile controversies had dented the reputation of Russian companies overseas, said that the company would work towards international standards of corporate governance.

"We should improve our corporate governance anyway," he said. "That is why we have added a CSR [corporate social responsibility] committee to the board of directors and two new high-profile independent directors. Next year, we will add another foreign independent director to the board."

UralKali, which merged with domestic rival Silvinit last year, reported full-year results broadly in line with expectations, said analysts at UBS, noting that with production costs of just $55 a tonne in 2011 the company remained "highly competitive".

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