Russia fetches $1.3bn in Alrosa’s shares sale

Russia’s Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond producer by output, said Monday it raised $1.3 billion after selling 16% of its shares as part of a multi-year government’s plan to dispose of public assets.

The figure, smaller than the one expected, highlights how difficult has resulted the state's privatization drive, which was supposed to net $13 billion this year.

According to sources quoted by Reuters, the main buyers of the company’s shares are U.S. investors, such as asset management group Lazard, which could be acquiring up to 60% of the 14% stake in the company.

The Russian government had anticipated it would get about $13.5 billion from sales this year, but it cut down estimations to just over $1.5 billion—a figure the Alrosa stake has now fallen short of.

Following the sale, the miner would become one of very few pure listed diamond miners, but somehow out of reach for many, as it is be only listed in Moscow, with a very small number of its shares available to trade.

Russia's federal and regional governments would own 44% and 25% respectively once the deal is closed.

Alrosa is the first and only state's sale so far this year ,and one of the ten biggest in Europe so far in 2013.