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Russian tycoon Deripaska increases stake in RUSAL
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Tuesday, 20 Nov 2012
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Mr Oleg Deripaska's En+ Group topped up its shareholding in UC RUSAL where he faces a slide in profits on the back of a weak aluminium market and a possible boardroom revolt by 2 fellow mining tycoons who also hold stakes in the company.

Mr Deripaska's investment vehicle bought additional shares in the world's top aluminium producer on the market raising its stake by 0.72% to 48.13% of the company.

Mr Artyom Volynets CEO of En+ Group said that "We believe that UC RUSAL is fundamentally undervalued and we are confident of its brilliant prospects."

RUSAL shares, listed in Hong Kong were down 1.55% to HKD 4.45 by 0739 GMT compared with its IPO price of HKD 10.80 in 2010. Its market capitalization has fallen by 25% during the last 12 months to USD 8.86 billion.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said that "While a marginally positive sign we don't expect investors to follow suit unless we see more signs that RUSAL is moving toward a final resolution with Potanin which would open the way for RUSAL to receive cash dividends from the nickel producer."

RUSAL owns 25% of Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest nickel and palladium producer and Mr Deripaska has been resisting pressure to sell it which could reduce RUSAL's debt and risks to the company from weak aluminium markets.

Instead, Mr Deripaska has fought Potanin the largest shareholder in Norilsk Nickel, over recent buybacks of Norilsk Nickel shares and argued for dividend payments instead.

Mr Viktor Vekselberg an oil and metals billionaire has left the RUSAL board arguing the company is mismanaged. A representative of New Jersey Nets owner Mr Mikhail Prokhorov who sold his stake in Norilsk Nickel for cash and shares in RUSAL ceded his board seat to his deputy this week.

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