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Kyrgyz Government Urged To Sell Stake In Gold Producer


Centerra owns and operates the Kumtor mine in Kyrgyzstan, which is thought to be among the world's top 10 gold-producing sites.

Centerra owns and operates the Kumtor mine in Kyrgyzstan, which is thought to be among the world's top 10 gold-producing sites.

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz economists have recommended that the government sell a stake in leading gold-producing concern Centerra Gold, Inc. to boost state revenues, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The Kyrgyz government owns a 33-percent stake in Centerra, which is based in Canada and is the largest gold producer in Central Asia. It owns Kumtor, which is thought to be among the biggest gold-producing mines in the world.

Orozbek Duisheev, chairman of the Kyrgyz Association of Mining Experts and Geologists, told RFE/RL that the government should make optimum use of its shares in Centerra. The association suggests the government should reduce its stake to 28-31.5 percent.

Duisheev said Centerra shares were priced at some $17.74 on April 19.

Selling a 3-percent stake could therefore yield some $130 million for the Kyrgyz government, according to Duisheev.

The Kyrgyz state's 33 percent already falls short of the 35 percent required for a so-called blocking minority to influence key strategic decisions at Centerra.

A report in March claimed that the government was preparing to hit Centerra with a $20 million penalty over lost gold.

Read more in Kyrgyz here
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