Russia Investigates Metals Giant Rusal

Government is reviewing whether or not the company broke Russian competition laws by suspending raw material supplies to a cement factory in northern Russia

Russian authorities on Oct. 13 opened an inquiry into metals giant Rusal, the world's biggest aluminium producer, for a possible breach of competition laws, the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said.

Rusal is controlled by billionaire tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who was ranked by Forbes magazine this year as the world's ninth richest man with a net worth of $28 billion.

Deripaska has incurred losses in the global financial crisis and has been forced to sell off assets including a 9.99% stake in German construction group Hochtief that he purchased last year.

The anti-monopoly service said it would look at whether Rusal broke Russian competition laws by suspending raw material supplies to a massive cement factory in northern Russia.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Deripaska is also under investigation by U.S. and British authorities in connection with a $57.5 million dollar wire transfer last year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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