Uncut diamond giant Alrosa must sell stake in Angola's Catoca, Russian deputy FM says

By bne IntelliNews April 29, 2024

Russian uncut diamond major Alrosa will have to sell its stake in Angola's Catoca diamond mining company owing to the latter's concerns about the prospects for collaborating with the sanctioned company, Interfax reports.

"The Angolans believe that the presence of Alrosa as a key shareholder is preventing them from developing their business,” Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev is quoted as telling reporters on April 26.

“In general, they have fair reasons for this. We are already seeing that many Western companies, both suppliers and buyers of stones, are beginning to say, 'You have Alrosa as a shareholder, so we will not work with you'.

“Therefore, various options are currently under consideration, though the meaning of this is of course that the asset will have to be sold, apparently,” he said.

Alrosa has been present in Angola since 1992. It currently holds a 41% stake in Catoca. Moiseyev also said that negotiations on Alrosa's exit have moved in a constructive direction, and the transaction amount is under discussion with “friendly investors”.

As followed by bne IntelliNews, Russian diamonds are still making it to the international market legally despite the sanctions for the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. In September 2022 the outlook of Alrosa indicated that the company remained upbeat on mining prospects, as it confirmed a $2bn investment in the restoration of its major Mir mine.

The US and the UK have already sanctioned Alrosa. The US has banned imports of non-industrial diamonds originating from Russia. The US has also banned debt and equity transactions with Alrosa and its CEO, Sergey Ivanov

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