Russia: Rusal ‘may sell $1bn in assets’

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RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminium producer, was considering selling about $1 billion (R10.65bn) worth of non-core assets, BCS financial group analysts said. Rusal told Reuters it was considering several options related to its non-core assets, but no decisions had been taken yet. But the BCS analysts said sale talks were at an advanced stage. Assets that could be sold included its foil business in Russia, and stakes in the Alscon aluminium smelter in Nigeria and the Bogatyr coal company in Kazakhstan, the analysts said in a research note to clients after meeting Rusal’s management last week. Rusal has been struggling to manage $10.3bn of net debt because of a slump in aluminium prices until early this year. The Russian firm recently finalised a refinancing deal with creditors, buying time to turn itself around. Shares in Rusal have jumped 75 percent in Hong Kong since the start of the year thanks to a rebound in aluminium prices and a spike in nickel prices. Rusal owns 28 percent of Russia’s Norilsk Nickel. – Reuters

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