Aluminum giant Rusal share price halved after U.S. sanctions

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Companies owned by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska warned that USA sanctions against his Russian aluminium and energy empire would have a "materially adverse impact" on future business prospects and could result in technical credit defaults.

On the Hong Kong stock market, one of the exchanges where Rusal's shares are listed, it closed 50 percent down at HK$2.34.

En+, Oleg Deripaska's energy business which listed in London in November, plunged 42 per cent, compounding losses suffered on Friday.

The overall wealth of 50 richest Russians decreased by around $12 billion after the stock market decline due to the sanctions imposed by the US, as Russian Forbes reported. Rusal is controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close friend of President Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin on Monday slammed the latest round of sanctions. "This is an outrageous business from the point of view of illegality, from the point of view of flouting all the norms, and of course careful analysis is needed here", said spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

The action targeted Russian oligarchs whose companies have wide-ranging involvement in global capital markets. The Russian individuals and companies were targeted for profiting from a Russian state engaged in "malign activities" around the world.

Rusal, which produces about 7% of the world's aluminium, said it regretted its inclusion on the new USA sanctions list. It was mentioned that the US sanctions are highly likely to will have a negative impact on the business of the company and its development. The state-controlled bank is seen as a barometer for the wider Russian economy. The Russian ruble dropped 3% against the United States dollar and the euro.

Rusal shares plunge sharply on US sanctions
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The sanctions also hit Norilsk Nickel, whose shares were down 16 percent.

Evraz, the steel company controlled by the Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich, was the biggest faller in the FTSE 100, dropping nearly 15%. It said further evaluations were being carried out to assess the impact of the sanctions.

The U.S. Treasury Department said investors have until May 7 "to divest or transfer debt, equity, or other holdings" in EN+, Rusal and Russian vehicle maker GAZ GAZA.MM .

USA sanctions have already cost some of Russia's dollar billionaires dearly only three days after they were introduced.

It said Deripaska was sanctioned "for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation".

It has also expelled dozens of Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK.

Russian Federation has described the move as "absurd" and said it would not go unanswered.

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