Bloomberg News

Rusal Extends Gains as Aluminum Demand Rises: Hong Kong Mover

February 09, 2012

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- United Co. Rusal, the world’s biggest aluminum producer, rose for the third day in Hong Kong trading as the company expects demand for the silver-colored metal to keep increasing.

The shares climbed 6.4 percent to HK$6.82 as of the midday close, bringing their gains this year to 39 percent. That beats the 13 percent increase in the benchmark Hang Seng index.

Manufacturers are increasingly switching to aluminum, used in electric cables and wires, after copper climbed to almost four times the price of the light metal, Rusal’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Oleg Mukhamedshin said in an interview in Moscow. Aluminum has risen 12 percent in London after slumping 18 percent last year as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis spread and the world economic recovery stalled.

Three-month delivery aluminum was at $2,250 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, while copper was at $8,536 a ton. Rusal is due to report its fourth-quarter production Feb. 13.

The shares have also gained after banks gave Rusal more leeway on the terms of its debt. The Moscow-based aluminum producer will have the option to introduce a 12-month covenant holiday, starting from any quarter this year, the company said Jan. 18.

Rusal completed an $11.4 billion debt refinancing in October that involved borrowing $4.75 billion from 13 lenders including BNP Paribas SA and ING Groep NV.

“The debt covenant has been troubling the stock, but now that’s lifted, investors are accumulating,” Robin Tsui, a Hong Kong-based analyst at BOC International Holdings Ltd., said by telephone.

--Editors: Ryan Woo, Baldave Singh.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Yun in Hong Kong at Myun11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebecca Keenan in Hong Kong at Rkeenan5@bloomberg.net.


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