June 11, 2020 / 9:32 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Norilsk Nickel co-owner proposes 2020 dividend cap after fuel spill

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MOSCOW, June 11 (Reuters) - Russian mining group Norilsk Nickel’s shares slipped on Thursday after its co-owner proposed capping 2020 dividends after a fuel spill in the Arctic city where the company is based.

Some 21,000 tonnes of diesel leaked into rivers and subsoil on May 29 in the remote city of Norilsk, an incident that Greenpeace has compared to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska.

Nornickel, the world’s leading nickel and palladium producer, has said it will finance the clean-up operation which has been made more difficult by bad weather conditions.

Vladimir Potanin, Nornickel’s co-owner and president, has proposed that he and other major shareholders cap the company’s final 2020 dividend at $1 billion, Interros holding, which manages his assets, said on Thursday

Nornickel declined to comment. Its shares were down 3% in Moscow, underperforming broad index.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which handles probes into major crimes, said on Thursday it had opened a criminal case against the mayor of the city of Norilsk for suspected negligence over his handling of a major oil spill in the region. (Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova and Polina Devitt; writing by Tom Balmforth and Polina Devitt; editing by Jane Merriman)

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