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Canada's Yamana Gold aims to hike dividends


Yamana Gold's executive chairman said on Monday the miner could raise its dividend by a third as the company gears up for a London listing.

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Yamana Gold's YRI.TO executive chairman said on Monday the miner could raise its dividend by a third as the company gears up for a London listing.

"Presently we are paying between $60-65 per ounce on dividends, as a policy we want to pay $50-$100 and that should imply that we have room for upside," Peter Marrone told Reuters.

"My vote would be that within the year we can get ourselves to $100 per ounce."

Yamana also said on Monday it was in advanced stages of a London Stock Exchange (LSE) listing expected at the end of the third quarter, to give it access to a bigger pool of capital.

Yamana does not intend to raise equity along with the LSE listing, where it plans to trade on the main market.

The miner produced 900,339 ounces of gold last year from its five mines in Chile, Argentina, Canada, Brazil.

Gold prices XAU= have jumped to their highest since 2011, spurring mergers and acquisitions among miners in the sector.

But Marrone said there were few assets that could deliver high returns and he preferred a transaction that was a merger of equals.

"Not an acquisition but a combination, perhaps through similarly-sized companies creating further critical mass. We are very open and receptive to that, we recognise that size does matter," he said.

Such deals involving majors have occurred in the last couple of years, including Barrick Gold's ABX.TO takeover of Randgold, Newmont's NEM.N merger with Goldcorp and more recently SSR Mining's SSRM.TO tie up with Alacer Gold ASR.TO.

Memery Crystal LLP is Yamana's legal adviser and Velocity Trade Capital Ltd is its financial adviser. The company said it had also started the process of appointing UK corporate brokers.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Mark Potter)

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