(Updates with closing price in second paragraph.)
Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel slid after Vedomosti reported Russia’s largest miner may need to get government approval for its buyback program, citing a letter from the Russian antitrust regulator.
The shares dropped as much as 2.3 percent and closed down 0.8 percent at 6,284 rubles by 6:45 p.m. in Moscow.
Norilsk, which is carrying out the buyback through a unit that is registered outside Russia, forms a single group with billionaire Vladimir Potanin’s Interros Holding Co. that holds more than a 10 percent stake combined, meaning it needs permission from the government foreign investment commission to buy the shares in Norilsk, a strategic company, the newspaper said. Interros holds about 30 percent of the nickel producer.
“This news is negative for Norilsk shares since the buyback was a key factor helping the share outperform,” Alfa Bank analysts Barry Ehrlich and Andrey Lobazov, said in an e- mailed report today. “A heightened risk of a delay to the buyback will likely cause an underperformance until the risk is removed.”
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