UPDATE 2-Potash miner Uralkali brings in Chinese wealth fund

Fri Nov 9, 2012 10:23am EST
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* Bonds issued by Suleiman Kerimov and partners

* Exchangeable into equity stake now worth $3 bln

* Signals resources sector open to strategic investors - source

* Uralkali shares down 3.6 pct, underperform MICEX

By Polina Devitt

MOSCOW, Nov 9 (Reuters) - The main owners of Russia's Uralkali have sold bonds exchangeable into shares worth about $3 billion in a deal that could give a Chinese sovereign wealth fund a stake in the world's largest potash miner by output.

Uralkali said on Friday the bonds had been sold to Chengdong Investment Corporation, a subsidiary of China's CIC, and to VTB Capital, a subsidiary of the country's No.2 bank VTB .

The bonds are due in 2014 and exchangeable into a 14.5 percent stake in Uralkali worth more than $3 billion at current prices. China's CIC could exchange its bonds into a 12.5 percent stake and VTB to a stake of 2 percent.

The bonds were sold by four core Uralkali shareholders, led by tycoon Suleiman Kerimov, who between them own 45.3 percent of the group.   Continued...