MOSCOW, August 20 - RAPSI. President Vladimir Putin has expressed hope that the Norilsk Nickel Mining and Metallurgical Company's major shareholders will reach a settlement in favor of the company and its personnel.

The conflict concerns two shareholders - Rusal owner Oleg Deripaska (25 percent) and Interros owner Vladimir Potanin (28 percent). Last July, Putin also voiced his hope that a quick resolution would be found to the conflict while serving as the prime minister.

Norilsk Nickel is the worlds largest nickel and palladium producer and a leading platinum, cobalt, copper and rhodium producer. Its production facilities are located in the Norilsk region and on the Kola Peninsular, as well as in Finland, Australia, Botswana and South Africa.