Russian firms and rouble hit heavily by Trump sanctions

Alicia Cross
April 10, 2018

Separately, Rusal warned that the sanctions impact "may result in technical defaults in relation to certain credit obligations of the group, and the company is now evaluating the impact (if any) of such technical defaults on the financial position of the group".

The sanctions - created to make it nearly impossible for Mr Deripaska's empire to do business in greenback - pose a grave threat to an oligarch who has been seen as one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest allies.

Washington has accused Deripaska of operating for the Russian government.

The Russian stock market also fell heavily.

The US Treasury sanctioned Russian individuals, officials, state-owned firms and companies, including Rusal, the world's second largest maker of aluminum, under provisions of a law Congress passed previous year to retaliate against Moscow for meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election, last Friday. Any assets the seven have under United States jurisdiction have been frozen and U.S. nationals are forbidden from doing business with them.

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The US said it imposed the latest sanctions because of Russian activity in Ukraine, its support of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's civil war and for subverting Western democracies. Rusal sells more than 10% of its aluminium to the US. By making it virtually impossible for Deripaska's businesses to trade in USA dollars, the measures threaten the empire of one of Putin's closest allies.

The sanctions were weighing on broader markets in Russian Federation. Privately held companies owned or controlled by Deripaska were also sanctioned. "The situation is pretty egregious from the point of view of legality, it tramples on all kinds of norms, and so a thorough analysis is necessary", he said. Polymetal, a Russian miner listed in London, was the biggest FTSE 250 faller, down 18%.

Russia's prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, told his government to draw up possible retaliatory steps.

"The US list may not be the final list and it feels like there will be more sanctions, so investors do not know which, if any, stocks to hold", said John Meyer, mining analyst at SP Angel.

En+ Group and Rusal both released statements on Monday that said "it is highly likely" that the sanctions would "be materially adverse" to their businesses.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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