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UPDATE 1-Russia's Polyus says prices its SPO at lower end of range

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MOSCOW, June 30 (Reuters) - Polyus, Russia's largest gold producer, on Friday priced its share placement in Moscow and London at $66.50 per share, at the lower end of the previously announced range.

Polyus, controlled by the family of Russian tycoon Suleiman Kerimov, delisted from the London Stock Exchange in 2015 after Western sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis began to bite for Russian companies.

It returns to London buoyed by an 8 percent rise in global gold prices this year and by a separate $887 million deal to sell 10 percent of the company to a Chinese consortium led by Fosun International.

Appetite for Russian assets in general has also been strengthening since the start of this year, driven by a rising oil price and expectations that U.S. President Donald Trump would ease fraught U.S.-Russian relations.

Market optimism has been tempered though in the past few weeks, with Trump embroiled in a row at home over his associates' ties to Russia, and the United States imposing a fresh round of sanctions on some Russian entities.

Polyus's price range was previously set at $33.25-$35.30 per global depositary share in London, corresponding to a price of $66.50-$70.60 per ordinary share in Moscow. The company was offering between 7 and 9 percent of its shares, including new shares.

British investors bought about half of the share offering, VTB Capital, a bookrunner on the deal, said in a separate statement. The share of investors from North America totalled around 20 percent of the deal, it added.

Russian, European and Middle Eastern investors each took about 10 percent of the offering, Boris Kvasov, the head of equity capital markets at VTB Capital, was quoted as saying in the statement.

Long-term investors took about 80 percent of the total allocation, including sovereign funds. Russian pension funds took less than 1 percent, Kvasov added. (Reporting by Polina Devitt and Diana Asonova; editing by Christian Lowe)