The government is discussing the nationalization of UC Rusal

This can save production, but not the company itself, experts say.
The possibility of temporary nationalization of companies affected by US sanctions was proposed as one of the options for their support, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on April 19. This is only one possible measure, stressed Peskov. "Of course, it is important to take into account the opinion of the company's shareholders, the owners of the company, the government's opportunities," he added. In the government, the option of nationalizing Deripaska's assets, including UC Rusal, is being discussed, two federal officials confirmed to Vedomosti. Representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Development, Rosrezerv and UC Rusal did not answer Vedomosti's questions.

On April 6, the US Treasury announced new sanctions against Russian businessmen and companies. In the updated SDN-list were included, including personally Oleg Deripaska and eight structures under his control. The strongest sanctions have yet affected UC Rusal, the world's second-largest aluminum producer.

More than 80% of UC Rusal products (3,034 million tons) were supplied to foreign markets. Within two weeks, cooperation with the company was suspended by a number of Russian and foreign counterparties. On force majeure under contracts with UC Rusal because of the risk of falling under the action of secondary sanctions announced the largest buyer of Russian aluminum Glencore. In the nine months of 2017, the share of the trader accounted for 26% of all sales of UC Rusal. Aluminum trading in UC Rusal was stopped by the London Metal Exchange. Reuters, citing its sources, said that Japanese commodity traders asked the Russian company to stop shipping products.

How large companies passed under the control of the state


Now he is a member of the holding company "Phosagro". Since the lawsuit for a 20% stake in Apatit began the YUKOS case. The trial, whether it belongs to the state or the holding company "Fosagro" (was affiliated with YUKOS), ended in a state victory in 2008. According to court materials, in 1994 the former Yukos executives fraudulently seized a 20% state stake in Apatit for $ 283 In 2012, Fosagro bought a 20% stake in Apatit at an auction for 11.1 billion rubles. ($ 345 million at that time).


Now, 60.33% belongs to the state-owned company Rosneft. In December 2014, Bashneft became the property of the state by a court decision. Then 71.6% of its shares were written off from the personal accounts of AFK Sistema and credited to the personal account of the Federal Property Management Agency. In October 2016, Rosneft bought 50.01% of Bashneft for 329 billion rubles. at the Federal Property Management Agency.


Abolished in 2007 the company. The company's largest assets were Yuganskneftegaz and oil refineries in the Volga region. In 2003, the company and owners were accused of tax evasion. A year later, the Federal Bailiff Service sold Yuganskneftegaz from an auction to compensate for budget losses. The asset was purchased by OOO Baikalfinansgroup, a few days later it was swallowed up by the state-owned Rosneft. As a result, the state company collected most of the assets of the former Yukos.


The oil company, which 72.7% of its shares bought in autumn 2005 the state-controlled Gazprom from Millhouse Roman Abramovich for $ 13.1 billion. Six months later, the asset was renamed Gazprom Neft. Initially, Sibneft was formed by decree of President Boris Yeltsin through the allocation of a part of assets from Rosneft, which were privatized in the next two years. Initially, the company was under the control of Boris Berezovsky, later passed under the control of Abramovich.

Partial nationalization of UC Rusal as an option to save the company was proposed by Mikhail Shmakov, Chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia: "It's time to redeem yourself at the lowest price at which it stands today, and continue to run it as a state investment project." Temporary nationalization is theoretically possible, the president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin admits, but this tool raises many questions: at what price nationalization is possible, it is necessary to take into account the current price of UC Rusal or pre-tax, where to borrow money for nationalization. Over the past two weeks, the capitalization of UC Rusal has fallen from $ 9 billion to $ 3.5 billion. "Is it possible to take the company out of the sanctions with the change of owner [to the state]? Without an answer to these questions, one should not rush to discuss this topic as an option, "Shokhin said.

The nationalization of UC Rusal, with the transition of its assets that are not included in the list of the US Treasury, to the Federal Property Management Agency, for example, can withdraw such assets from under threat, says the consultant of several companies that have been sanctioned. "For the state, this does not create any sanctioning risks," Vedomosti interlocutor argues, "you can do this, including through bankruptcy proceedings."

From the legal point of view, the extension of sanctions to the entire state in case of nationalization of UC Rusal is impossible, Ivan Tertychnyy, partner of Tertychny Agabalyan, believes. But there is no ready-made mechanism for the nationalization of enterprises in Russia, he says: "It is possible that state banks and creditors will take the shares under UC Rusal's obligations. It is possible that they will come up with some other scheme, for example, the Industrial Consolidation Fund - similar to the Fund for the Consolidation of the Banking Sector - to which the Central Bank will give money. "
The nationalization of enterprises will allow the production to continue, the partner of consulting company Urus Advisory Alexey Panin admits, but UC Rusal itself will not become less toxic from this. The US is unlikely to remove sanctions from UC Rusal in case of its nationalization, agrees the investment director of TKC Partners Andrei Tretelnikov.

One of the options for supporting the company may be the state purchase of its products, said Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov. "Production can be temporarily released to the warehouse - under the state's order," supports its head Khakassia Viktor Zimin. "Plus, production will continue." In Khakassia and the Krasnoyarsk Territory, 15,000 people work in aluminum production, he recalled.

Experts disagree about which option is more effective. "Russia has nothing to fear. She is already considered America's enemy in the CAATSA law, in the strategy of national security and US defense strategy, "recalls Alexander Losev, General Director of Sputnik-Capital Management. It is more important for the state to keep production, jobs, production and commodity-money chains, Losev is sure, nationalization will allow to do this with the least expenditure. The director of the group of corporate ratings of ACRA Maxim Khudalov does not agree with him. "The state will have to purchase up to 1 million tons of aluminum per year, which will cost the budget about $ 2.5 billion. Some of the money in the treasury will be returned, for example, through the sale of aluminum through the Rosrezerv to government projects," Khudalov argues. "But the nationalization of UC Rusal implies the nationalization of its debts. And what for it can be necessary for the state? ».