June 14, 2016 / 9:02 AM / 4 years ago

Russia's Norilsk aims for debt ratio of up to 2 by end-2016

MOSCOW, June 14 (Reuters) - Russian miner Norilsk Nickel aims to keep its net debt to core earnings ratio at up to 2.0 by the end of 2016, compared to 1.0 a year earlier, the company’s chief financial officer said.

“We hope that we will stay safe regarding our debt burden level, up to 2 by the end of the year,” CFO Sergei Malyshev told reporters.

Norilsk, the world’s second-largest nickel producer after Vale SA, has this year linked its dividend payments to a leverage measurement ratio which shows how many years it could take the company to pay back its debt.

The dividend policy suggests a payout of 60 percent of annual earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) if the debt ratio is below 1.8.

The payout will decline on a sliding scale if the ratio is 1.8 or above, falling to 30 percent of EBITDA if the ratio exceeds 2.2, Norilsk said in April. (Reporting by Andrey Kuzmin; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Jack Stubbs)

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