Accessibility links

Breaking News

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.
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