Kyrgyzstan may seek Centerra's delisting after Canadian court order

Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:27am EDT
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By Olga Dzyubenko

BISHKEK Oct 20 (Reuters) - Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev said on Monday he could seek to delist Centerra Gold in Toronto after a Canadian court effectively suspended its Kyrgyz-held shares.

The former Soviet republic owns a third of Centerra which is developing the vast Kumtor gold field near China's border. The government and the company are engaged in uneasy talks on restructuring of the project, which Kyrgyzstan hopes will boost its budget revenues.

On Oct. 14, Canadian miner Stans Energy obtained an order from an Ontario court which prohibits the Kyrgyz Republic and its state gold company Kyrgyzaltyn from making any move to sell, pledge or exchange 47 million shares in Centerra.

Stans Energy has sought payment from the government of $118 million in damages and losses after losing its licence for the Kutessay II rare-earth mine in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz leader Atambayev said that legal actions taken by Canadian courts against Kyrgyzstan were discriminatory.

"In particular, a question could be raised about possible delisting of Centerra Gold shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange," he said in a written statement published by his press service.

"Or we could take more decisive steps to protect Kyrgyzstan's national interests which would exclude deciding Kumtor's fate in the courts of Canada, whose companies have already withdrawn by different means the bigger part of profits from one of the world's largest gold deposits."

He did not elaborate. Centerra Gold could not immediately be reached for comment.   Continued...