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Russia's richest man sells 10% stake in USM

Russia's richest man, Alisher Usmanov, is selling a 10 percent stake in his holding company USM, by way of a share buyback as a "motivational incentive" for the firm's management team, the group has said.

Usmanov, ranked by Forbes as Russia's richest man in its 2014 list of billionaires, will remain majority shareholder of USM, owning a total of 48 percent. The group said the incentive program has been planned for two years and the timing is driven primarily by stock market dynamics.

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Simon Dawson | Bloomberg via Getty Images

"Today, at a time when the share prices of Russian companies depend on anything but the factual results of their work, share prices have dropped severely enough to make this the right time to launch a motivational incentive for the management team," a USM spokesperson said.

"With regard to sanctions, Mr Usmanov has never considered that they may affect him in any way. He is a businessman and doesn't take any part in politics," a spokesperson for the group added.

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USM Holdings has interests in MegaFon, Russia's second largest mobile phone operator, and metals and mining group Metalloinvest.

Western-imposed sanctions against Russian companies and individuals following the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea have not affected Usmanov or his businesses.

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Usmanov, with an estimated fortune of $18.6 billion according to Forbes, is ranked 41 on the business magazine's list of the world's richest people.

The shares are set to be divided between USM's senior executives and Usmanov is planning to put the proceeds into an investment fund.

By CNBC's Jenny Cosgrave: Follow her on Twitter @jenny_cosgrave

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