Russia, the world’s biggest palladium producer, ended a government monopoly on exports of the metal and on platinum.
President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday signed amendments to a law on budget and tax policy that strips Almazyuvelirexport of its monopoly on exports of so-called platinum group metals, for which the state trading company charged fees, the Kremlin said on its Web site today.
The palladium and platinum reserves of OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel (GMKN) were classified as a state secret until 2005. The Moscow- based company didn’t have permits to export platinum, used in jewelry, for four months last year.
“We’re happy with the further liberalization of the platinum market,” Norilsk spokeswoman Maria Uvarova said by phone. “Platinum fits into our overall metal sales strategy and we don’t foresee any issues arising from the changes.”
Norilsk, whose biggest shareholder is billionaire Vladimir Potanin, is the also the world’s biggest producer of nickel and Russia’s largest producer of copper.
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