The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced Wednesday it would lift sanctions on EN+ Group, Rusal and JSC EuroSib Energo within 30 days after the three Russian companies agreed to undertake structural reforms to reduce ownership of businessman Oleg Deripaska, who remains on the US sanctions list.
OFAC Director Andrea Gacki explained in the Treasury’s notice that the three companies had agreed to make significant changes that would include reducing Deripaska’s direct and indirect shareholdings in the entities to below 50 percent.
Rusal and EN+ have also agreed to overhaul the composition of their boards of directors and take other restrictive steps related to corporate governance, Gacki said. In addition, the three firms have committed to “unprecedented transparency” by undertaking extensive audits and reporting requirements.
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Meanwhile, Rusal shares skyrocketed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in early trading on Thursday. In particular, the shares of Russian aluminum giant shares went up to 2.8 Hong Cong dollars ($0.36) per share in the wake of the US Treasury revealing its plans to lift sanctions on the company.
OFAC placed Deripaska, EN+ Group, Rusal and JSC EuroSibEnergo on the US sanctions list on April 6, 2018, in response to Russia’s allegedly malign activities. The decision to sanction Russian aluminum giant Rusal created turmoil in international markets, prompting European allies of the United States to seek its revision.
The three companies later petitioned OFAC to be delisted and were able to settle on terms that were acceptable to OFAC, the Treasury Department said. Lord Gergory Barker, a former minister of state for the United Kingdom, led the negotiations on behalf of the petitioners, the Treasury Department said.