Russian tycoon Evtushenkov says interested in Uralkali

Reuters

* Says the current selling price is too high

* Sees current market price without a premium as fair

VARANDEI, Russia, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Vladimir Evtushenkov,owner of the Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema , is interested in a stake in Russia'sUralkali, the world's largest potash miner by output,he told reporters on Tuesday.

Uralkali caused a row between Russia and Belarus when itunexpectedly pulled out of a sales cartel with the state-runBelaruskali in July.

The move rocked the global potash industry and triggeredspeculation that the main owner of Uralkali, Suleiman Kerimov,may be under pressure to sell his stake so the cartel canre-form.

"I am interested in Uralkali, it's quite clear that it's aquestion of price. Now the selling price is too high,"Evtushenkov said, when asked whether he was interested in buyingKerimov's stake.

He said he current market price of Uralkali, without apremium, was a fair one.

Uralkali, whose shares have recouped most of their lossessince plunging nearly 19 percent when the firm quit the jointventure on July 30, has a current market capitalisation ofaround $16.5 billion.

Evtushenkov was attending a ceremony near the Arctic port ofVarandei to launch the northern Russian Trebs and Titov oilfields, developed both by Sistema-owned Bashneft andLukoil.

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