Polyus in FTSE 100 'within a year'

Evgeny Ivanov, the brain behind a proposed Russian-Kazakh gold giant, aims for the company to join the FTSE 100 index by September 2011.

The $10.5bn combination, which would be the result of London-listed Kazakhgold's reverse takeover of Polyus, has been thrown into doubt because of a series of legal difficulties, but Mr Ivanov insisted the deal will be completed next month.

The group will have to increase the percentage of shares that are traded and bring in independent directors to qualify for the FTSE 100.

"Hopefully this will be an interesting stock for the market," said Mr Ivanov, who is Polyus's chief executive. "We hope to be included in the FTSE 100 within one year."

Polyus bought a 50.1 per cent stake in Kazakhgold from the Assaubayev family last year, but is now suing them for $450m, claiming that it was misled on aspects of the deal. In Kazakhstan, the accounts of Kazakhgold's subsidiary have been frozen as part of a criminal investigation which Mr Ivanov has condemned.

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