Russian tycoon Vladimir Potanin has cut his stake in metals giant Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM: Quote) by 4.8 percent to 25 percent plus one share, retaining blocking rights in the firm, the U.S. stock market regulator said.

A statement sent by Potanin to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), seen by Reuters on Monday, showed that the stake had been reduced from the 29.8 percent he held as of May 26 last year.

A spokeswoman for Potanin's investment vehicle, Interros, said that part of the stock was sold during a buyback of 4 percent of Norilsk shares at the end of 2008. [ID:nL1411128]

RUSAL, the world's top aluminium producer, controlled by tycoon Oleg Deripaska, is the holder of a 25 percent-plus-two-shares stake in Norilsk, the world's top producer of nickel and platinum group metal palladium.

The third-largest shareholder in Norilsk is iron ore and steel company Metalloinvest, controlled by tycoon Alisher Usmanov. (Reporting by Aleksandras Budrys; editing by Simon Jessop)

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