YAKUTSK, July 27 (RIA Novosti) - The new president of Russia's largest diamond producer, Alrosa, confirmed on Monday the company plans to sell diamonds worth a total of $2 billion in 2009.
"The company intends to fulfill its 2009 plan of diamond sales of $2 billion. The first batch of $50 million has already been contracted," Fyodor Andreyev said.
Andreyev, who until recently was senior vice-president of Russian Railways, a post he held from 2005, replaced Sergei Vybornov as Alrosa CEO in early July. Some analysts say that Vybornov's dismissal could have been prompted by a recent audit of Alrosa's activities and the management's reluctance to cooperate with inspectors from the Audit Chamber.
Andreyev said that both Russian and foreign companies would be among potential buyers of the company's diamonds, and that a certain portion would be purchased by Russia's State Depositary for Precious Metals.
Alrosa accounts for 97% of Russian and 25% of global diamond output. The Russian government holds a 50.9% stake in the company.
Alrosa Group sold raw diamonds worth $2.18 billion and cut diamonds worth $157.5 million in 2008.