News agency Reuters has reported, but not verified, that the Russian steelmaker MMK, one of the country's largest steelmakers, is considering a merger with another large Russian steel producer, Severstal.

The news orginates from the Russian business daily Vedomosti and states that MMK could merge with other large steelmakers such as NLMK, Evraz, TMK and Metalloinest. It is thought, however, that the best prospect for a deal is with Severstal.

A spokesman for MMK has apparently told Vedomosti that there have been no talks about a merger. However, it might well be that the article is based purely on one slide in MMK's corporate presentation entitled 'MMK is well-positioned for local consolidation'. The slide highlights Severstal, NLMK, Evraz, TMK and Metalloinvest as companies offering 'areas of synergy' in terms of capacity management, sales management and purchasing.

One industry insider described the article as 'vague' and said he was not sure if anything was going on.

Vedomosti's report claims to cite industry and banking sources, according to a report on the Reuters story published by the Daily Mail Online.