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Evraz bail payment blocked, sees connection to Abramovich sanction

EVRAZ Group logos are seen on the buildings of the Nizhny Tagil NTMK metallurgical combination, in Nizhny Tagil, Russia November 21, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Files

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LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – Evraz (EVRE.L), the Russian steelmaker whose biggest shareholder is Roman Abramovich, said on Monday that a bond coupon payment of nearly $19 million had not been received by its principal paying agent, adding that he believed the issue was sanctions-related.

The London-listed company said there was no reason for it to default, adding that the issuer had sufficient cash to make the coupon payments.

He said the coupon paying agent, Bank of New York Mellon, had told Evraz that it had not received the funds, which remained “locked for compliance” at Evraz’s correspondent bank, Societe Generale New York.

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SocGen in New York did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The coupon is on Evraz’s dollar bond maturing in March 2023. The issue last traded on Monday at 64 cents to the dollar,

Britain imposed sanctions on Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea football club, on March 10, freezing his assets and preventing him from traveling to Britain. Read more

Evraz reiterated his position that Abramovich, who owns a 28.64% stake, does not have effective control of the company, and he believes she is unnamed and unsanctioned.

Evraz said he has sought clarification and confirmation from the UK Treasury and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on this.

British index provider FTSE Russell said last week it would eject Evraz, after many brokers refused to trade in its shares, which remain suspended. Read more

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Reporting by Paul Sandle; additional reporting by Karin Strohecker; Editing by Kate Holton and Sujata Rao

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