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Deloitte resigns as Polymetal auditor over Russian operations

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Accounting giant Deloitte has resigned as the auditor of mining giant Polymetal International due to the firm’s ties to Russia.

The London-listed firm, which primarily operates in Russia, has seen its shares plummet since Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than a month ago.

Last month, Deloitte said it would no longer operate in Russia and started a process to sever ties with its operations in Russia and Belarus.

The auditor confirmed on Friday that it is therefore unable to work with the Anglo-Russian gold and silver miner.

In a statement, Polymetal said: “Following the announcement on March 7 2022 that Deloitte’s Russian and Belarus firms would separate from the global network of member firms of which Deloitte is a part, they have concluded that they will not be able to carry out an audit of the company given that the majority of its assets and operations are in Russia.”

Polymetal has kept its listing in London since the renewed hostilities broke out but has seen its shares dive.

Shares in the business were trading at around 1,100p before the invasion started on February 24 but had plunged to 290p at close of business on Thursday.

Last month, Polymetal said it was still able to sell gold from Russia to East Asia and Kazakhstan, despite crippling sanctions on Russia from Western countries.

While export opportunities to Europe and the US have dropped, Polymetal said that Russian retail customers – that is to say, individuals rather than banks and other institutions – have been snapping up the precious metal.

After its entire board left, the FTSE 100 firm appointed five new independent directors and a new chairman.

Shareholders are set to meet to vote on the appointments on April 25.

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