Russia begins sale of $8.7 billion state-owned diamond miner

Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond producer by output, began Monday to sell shares in the company, after Russia decided to cut its stake in the state-owned firm earlier this month, as part of a multi-year drive to dispose of public assets.

According to Reuters, the government has valued Alrosa at up to $8.7 billion, which is less than the $9 to $15 billion estimate given by the diamond producer in May.

Following the sale, whose final price is due to be announced on Oct. 28, Alrosa will become one of very few pure listed diamond miners, but somehow out of reach for many, as it will be only listed in Moscow for now.

Russia's federal and regional governments will own 44% and 25% respectively once the deal is closed, which is expected to happen by the end of the month.

The deal will be the second major state asset put up for sale this year. VTB Group, which owns VTB Capital, sold a $3.3 billion stake in May, boosting its capital and diluting the state’s ownership of the company.