Bloomberg News

Belarus Won’t Sell Controlling Stake in Fertilizer Producer

May 15, 2012

Belarus has no plans to sell a controlling stake in state-run fertilizer producer Belaruskali, First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said.

“Nobody should give up Belaruskali, it would be a crime,” Semashko told reporters today in the capital city of Minsk.

President Aleksandr Lukashenko said last week that the government is prepared to sell a stake in the company that’s worth as much as $32 billion in its entirety. China, India, Russia and two western companies are competing for a shareholding in Belaruskali which produces 15 percent of the world’s potash, he said in October.

Belaruskali is set to repay a $1 billion loan from OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, and the Eurasian Development Bank ahead of schedule to avoid paying a higher interest rate, Semashko said.

The company’s improved finances and a more stable economy will allow Belaruskali to allocate funds to repay the debt six months early, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aliaksandr Kudrytski in Minsk, Belarus at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Hellmuth Tromm at

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