U.S. sets November 12 deadline for investors to divest holdings of Rusal, EN+

Aluminium ingots are seen stored at the foundry shop of the Rusal Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia November 9, 2017. Picture taken November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury said on Friday it had extended until Nov. 12 a deadline for investors to divest holdings of debt, equity and other assets in sanctioned Russian companies EN+ ENPLq.L and Rusal 0486.HK. A deadline of Oct. 23 remained in force for divesting holdings of Gaz Group GAZA.MM, the Treasury said.

The U.S. Treasury in April imposed sanctions against billionaire Oleg Deripaska and eight companies in which he is a large shareholder, including aluminum exporter Rusal, in response to what it termed “malign activities” by Russia.

Deripaska has held a controlling interest in EN+, which in turn controls Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer outside of China. Automaker GAZ is also part of his business empire.

Deadlines for investors to divest their holdings in the companies was extended to Oct. 23 in late July. The current order moves the deadline for divesting holdings in Rusal and EN+ to Nov. 12.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the United States was in talks with Rusal to remove it from the sanctions list.

“EN+ and Rusal have approached the U.S. government about substantial corporate governance changes that could potentially result in significant changes in control,” the Treasury said in a statement announcing the new deadline. “To allow sufficient time for review, we are extending these licenses until Nov. 12.”

Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and James Dalgleish