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Exclusive: Russia's Deripaska is preparing to cope with Rusal, one + sources

LONDON / MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska is preparing to quit the control of Rusal ( 0486.HK ) and its parent En + ( ENPLq.L ), moving part of his En + post to a blind trust, speaking with the United States to lift the sanctions forward, said three sources familiar with the conversation. PHILPHOTO: Russian aluminum monk Oleg Deripaska leaves after Russian President Vladimir Putin's conversation with the South Korean president Moon Jae-in at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, June 22, 2018. REUTERS / Sergei Karpukhin / Filfoto ] The US Treasury imposed sanctions against Deripaska, the aluminum giant Rusal, En + and other companies in which he owns actions and quotes "malignant operations" of Russia, which led to concerns about the global aluminum markets. Deripaska has called the sanctions against him "groundless, ridiculous and absurd". Following the lobby of European governments, Washington pushed for the sanctions to be followed and began to talk with Deripasa's team to remove Rusal and En + from the blacklist if he ceded the control in Rusal. The deadline for following sanctions was extended several times. It is now January 21, 2019. "Rusal and En + are very close to an agreement with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). They are likely to be removed from the SDN sanction list while their ownership is being relegated to blindness," says a of the sources. "It's a compromise for all." Rusal, the world's second largest aluminum producer after China's Hongqiao ( 1378.HK…

LONDON / MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska is preparing to quit the control of Rusal ( 0486.HK ) and its parent En + ( ENPLq.L ), moving part of his En + post to a blind trust, speaking with the United States to lift the sanctions forward, said three sources familiar with the conversation.

PHILPHOTO: Russian aluminum monk Oleg Deripaska leaves after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s conversation with the South Korean president Moon Jae-in at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, June 22, 2018. REUTERS / Sergei Karpukhin / Filfoto

] The US Treasury imposed sanctions against Deripaska, the aluminum giant Rusal, En + and other companies in which he owns actions and quotes “malignant operations” of Russia, which led to concerns about the global aluminum markets.

Deripaska has called the sanctions against him “groundless, ridiculous and absurd”.

Following the lobby of European governments, Washington pushed for the sanctions to be followed and began to talk with Deripasa’s team to remove Rusal and En + from the blacklist if he ceded the control in Rusal.

The deadline for following sanctions was extended several times. It is now January 21, 2019.

“Rusal and En + are very close to an agreement with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). They are likely to be removed from the SDN sanction list while their ownership is being relegated to blindness,” says a of the sources. “It’s a compromise for all.”

Rusal, the world’s second largest aluminum producer after China’s Hongqiao ( 1378.HK ) and En + refused to comment. Deripa’s representative also refused to comment. 19659004] One of the three sources and three other sources familiar with the talks between Deripasa’s team and OFAC said the pages were very close to an agreement and could be announced at the end of this week.

One source said the deal was still were subject to approval by the Russian political authorities before a final agreement can be reached.

Blind confidence, which should be run by independent administrators, has been encouraged at least since June.

But Christmas weekend next week could be another reason for the OFAC to announce the deal this week, sources said.

“Most people will rush to trade, buy gifts. Maybe they hope headlines in line with” (US President Donald) Trump raises the sanctions of the Russians want to be unnoticed by most people, says another source.

Offers with “strategic” Russian companies, the size of Rusal, which employs 62,000 people in Russia and other countries, is usually subject to close attention from the Kremlin.

Russia also has a history of defending its strategic groups in order to prevent them from gaining control of foreign shareholders.

The Kremlin had not responded to Reuters request for comments at the time of publication. Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual press conference on Thursday.

According to data from early 2018, Deripaska controls 67.6 percent of En +, which in turn controls 48 percent of Rusal. One + said in April that Deripaska had in principle agreed to reduce its share in the company to less than 50 percent.

It was not immediately clear who would be in the team that administers the blind trust if the final agreement was reached. But En + s current chairman Greg Barker is expected to be one of them, said a bank source.

A representative of Barker, who originally designed the plan for conversations with OFAC, declined to comment.

During a meeting on Thursday, En + s shareholders will decide to give Barker the power to nominate independent board members to the En + Board if successful.

Reporting of Pratima Desai, Katya Golubkova, Dmitry Zhdannikov, Tatiana Voronova, Polina Devitt, Darya Korsunskaya and Anastasia Lyrchikova; Further reporting by Darya Korsunskaya and Oksana Kobzeva; writing by Polina Devitt; Editing Veronica Brown and David Evans

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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