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November 3, 2009

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Rusal seeks to raise exposure

UNITED Co Rusal, the world's biggest aluminum producer, expects China to account for 10 percent of its revenue by 2015 from this year's 5 percent.

The Russian company, which has revived a plan for a Hong Kong stock market listing, seeks to raise exports to China, the world's largest market for the light metal used in airplane parts, automobiles and beverage cans.

It has signed a contract to supply 1.68 million tons of aluminum to China North Industries Corp, the nation's main defense company, between 2010 and 2016, Rusal announced yesterday. But no price details have been released.

"This agreement represents a significant step toward achieving our strategic objective of increasing exposure to the Chinese market," Artem Volynets, Rusal's deputy CEO, said.

The deal was suggested last month during Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing, sources said.

"Rusal is eying the long term," said Zhao Lu, an analyst at the Distribution Productivity Promotion Center of China Commerce in Beijing. "China's fast economic growth, especially in the auto and property sectors, is the main driving force for global aluminum demand."

Rusal has revived its plan to sell about 10 percent of its shares in a Hong Kong initial public offering. It has reportedly been in talks with China Investment Corp and Singapore's Temasek Holdings Pte to invest in the IPO.


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