August 15, 2018

Russia's VTB Bank Stops Lending to Sanctions-Hit Deripaska

25 May 2018, 12:29 | Rodolfo Wallace

Oleg Deripaska

Oleg Deripaska

On May 24, Russian aluminium manufacturer Rusal announced its CEO and seven members of its board of directors would step down.

It was not clear what effect the blacklisting would have as many Russian companies have already sought to wind up their Ukraine-linked activities due to earlier sanctions. Evgeny Nikitin, head of its aluminium division, will act as chief executive until a permanent replacement is found.

Rusal CEO Alexandra Buriko tendered her resignation on Thursday.

Two executive directors of the company, Vladislav Soloviev and Siegfried Wolf, as well as non-executive directors Maxim Sokov, Dmitry Afanasiev, Gulzhan Moldazhanova, Olga Mashkovskaya and Ekaterina Nikitina, also announced their resignations yesterday. None of them have offered themselves for re-election at the company's annual meeting on June 28, when their tenures end.

The Russian aluminum producer, Rusal, warned investors in a statement Thursday, the production of metal and sales would be severely impacted if the USA sanctions on the company are not lifted after October 23.

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"The business with newly sanctioned institutions represents less than 2 per cent of our assets so of course it will affect us to a certain extent but we still have to see what's going to happen with them as there's some discussion that they could be lifted for Rusal and some other companies".

Later, the U.S. Treasury has clarified that sanctions will not act against companies if Deripaska will control less than 50%.

Mr Deripaska has not resigned from his non-executive director role at Rusal, but he has reisgned from the board of EN+, his company through which he owns a stake in Rusal. The sanctions policy gives United States clients and business partners until October 23 to wind down business with these firms.

"The moves are rather formal, but they show that Deripaska is ready to give the U.S. an excuse to at least ease the sanctions", said Kirill Chuyko, an analyst at BCS Global Markets in Moscow.

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