HONG KONG, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Russia's United Company RUSAL Ltd (0486.HK: Quote) (RUAL.PA: Quote), the world's top aluminium maker, sees next year's aluminium prices at current levels or higher, Deputy Chief Executive Oleg Mukhamedshin said.
Rusal, which produces around 4 percent of the world's aluminium, gave an upbeat forecast for the global market for next year, after it reported last week a 55 percent fall in quarterly earnings, but did not provide specific forecasts.
Mukhamedshin told reporters on the sidelines of an investor conference on Tuesday that aluminium prices in 2011 would be roughly at current levels or higher, referring to a guidance of
$2,400-$2,500 per tonne for the fourth quarter.
"We think next year prices should be at least at the same level or even going up if the situation with power supply in China is going to stay the same," he said.
Rusal was looking for opportunities to sell in China, although the country relied little on imports, and selling prices to the Chinese market were typically at a discount to those in Europe and Japan, Mukhamedshin said.
Rusal would be a reliable supplier to China because its smelters were nearer the Chinese border, he said.
Mukhamedshin also said Rusal planned to sell Russian depositary receipts, consistent with media reports in September that it had plans to broaden its shareholder base.
"We are planning to introduce Russia depository receipts ... Hong Kong is a different time zone, and our domestic market is Russia," Mukhamedshin said, adding that existing shareholders could sell shares or the company could issue new shares.
At the midday trading break on Tuesday, Rusal's Hong Kong-listed shares, which debuted in January, were down 0.2 percent, underperforming the Hang Seng Index's .HSI 0.06 percent fall. Rusal has dropped 9 percent since hitting a post-IPO high of HK$10.70 on Nov. 8.