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Russia's Rusal Shares Up by 7.7% at Hong Kong Exchange as US Lifts Sanctions

© AP Photo / Ng Han GuanA man examines stock update on a display at a stock brokerage in Beijing, China, Monday, Oct. 6, 2008
A man examines stock update on a display at a stock brokerage in Beijing, China, Monday, Oct. 6, 2008 - Sputnik International
BEIJING (Sputnik) -The shares of Russian aluminum giant Rusal went up by 7.7 percent at the opening of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the stock market data showed on Monday in the wake of the removal of Washington's sanctions against the company.

Rusal shares increased to 3.21 Hong Kong dollars ($0.41) per share.

Late on Sunday, the US Department of the Treasury said in a press release that it had lifted sanctions against Rusal, along with EN+ Group and EuroSibEnergo as the companies had met the necessary condition of reducing the "direct and indirect shareholding stake" of Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, who owns these companies and remains in the sanction list.

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Last April, the United States introduced new sanctions against Russia, in particular, adding Deripaska and a range of Russian companies, including Rusal, to the OFAC's List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. The entities included in this list have their assets in the United States blocked, and US citizens are banned from any business with these companies, including any operations with debt and equity instruments.

Last December, the US Department of the Treasury revealed its plans to abandon sanctions against EN+ Group, Rusal, and EuroSibEnergo due to the companies' readiness to undergo structural changes to reduce Deripaska's interest.

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Rusal released a statement on Monday, hours after US Treasury decision on sanctions, saying that the company had changed the composition of its board of directors as part of the deal on Washington's sanctions removal.

"Mr. Jean-Pierre Thomas… received an imperative request of the Office of Foreign Assets Control [OFAC] of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to leave the office of the Chairman and Director as one of the prerequisites for termination of US sanctions in relation to the Company. Mr. Thomas… has accepted the request… The Company also announces that Mr. Philippe Bernard Henri Mailfait… has tendered his resignation as an independent non-executive Director," the statement read.

The renewed list of directors includes three executive directors (Evgenii Nikitin, Evgenii Vavilov, and Sergei Popov), three non-executive directors (Marco Musetti, Vyacheslav Solomin, and Timur Valiev), and finally three independent non-executive directors (Elsie Leung Oi-sie, Dmitry Vasiliev, and Bernard Zonneveld).

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EN+ Group has overhauled the composition of its board of directors as well, with eight of the total 12 seats now appointed to independent directors accepted by the OFAC.

EN+ Group also said in a statement on Monday that it expected clearing and settlement in global depository receipts (GDR) to recommence on a normalized basis soon following its removal from the US sanctions list.

"The Company expects clearing and settlement in its GDRs to recommence on a normalised basis shortly," the statement said.

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