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Abramovich turns attention to steel industry

Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich seems to have bought up every footballer worth his salt – now it appears that he is turning his attention to the UK steel industry.

Reports in his native Russia suggest that the billionaire is in talks with Anglo-Dutch firm Corus over acquiring a minority share.

While the company dismissed the suggestion as mere “speculation”, it had a favourable effect on stock prices, with shares rising by more than 2%.

The Kommersant business daily reported that Abramovich is already in talks with Russia’s largest steelmaker, Evraz Group.

It suggests that he could buy 40% of Evraz shares and swap a portion for a stake in Corus. The deal would leave him with a minority stake in Corus and Evraz while giving the British firm a foothold in the Russian steel sector.

Corus has raised prices given for steel cans recently as well as announcing plans to increase capacity at its plants.

With the UK industry said to be revelling in worldwide demand for the commodities, the reported interest is a sign of the current strength of the steel industry in this country.

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