Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

U.S. Home backs sanctions on Russia's Rusal in symbolic vote

US lifts sanctions on Rusal, other firms linked to Russia's Deripaska Washington Lifts Sanctions Against Russian Companies En+, Rusal, Eurosibenergo
Russell Knight | 31 January, 2019, 00:43

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Sunday lifted sanctions on aluminum giant Rusal and other Russian firms linked to oligarch Oleg Deripaska, defying a Democratic-led push in the U.S. Congress to maintain the restrictions.

"All sanctions on Deripaska continue in force", the statement added.

Amid questions about Trump's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, many members of the U.S. Congress - both Democrats and some of Trump's fellow Republicans - have been questioning the administration's plan to water down the toughest penalties imposed on Russian entities since the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Deripaska, however, remains under sanctions.

Under a deal, the Treasury agreed with the board of the aluminium firm Rusal's holding company, EN+ Group Plc, for the billionaire Oleg Deripaska to cut his shares below the 50 per cent threshold designated in the Treasury's sanctions guidelines, reports Efe news.

Hong-Kong listed shares in Rusal, the world's largest aluminum producer outside China, hit their highest since April on January 28, rising 9 percent.

US lifts sanctions on Rusal, other firms linked to Russia's Deripaska

When they were imposed past year, the company sanctions caused gyrations in global aluminum prices, sparking criticism from European allies, who have pushed the Treasury Department to lift them.

In a separate statement, En+ announced the addition of seven independent directors to its board, as well as a securities swap with Ivan Glasenberg's Glencore.

The premium for shipping to the United States stands at around $0.19 a lb or $420 a tonne, double the $200 a tonne seen at the start of 2018 and about 20 percent above the levels at the time tariffs were announced in early March 2018.

As a result, the London Metal Exchange released a notice confirming that its Special Committee has lifted the temporary conditional suspension on Rusal aluminum, meaning warranting can be resumed in respect to all Rusal metal and removing the conditions imposed by Notices 18/107 and 18/117 so members can freely enter into contracts with Rusal and its affiliates. Aluminum surged in April when Treasury announced the financial restrictions, but tumbled in recent months on speculation that the sanctions would be lifted.

But in its statement on Sunday, the U.S. Treasury Department said the three companies had reduced Deripaska's direct and indirect shareholding stake and severed his control. The value of the aluminium producer declined by more than half from $9.2 billion more than eight months ago.

The sanctions banned Americans and organizations with U.S. divisions, such as many global banks, from doing business with the companies and froze Deripaska's personal assets in United States jurisdictions.

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