UPDATE 1-U.S. postpones sanctions deadline on Russian tycoon’s firms

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(Adds details from U.S. Treasury statement)

WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) – The United States on Friday said it was postponing the enforcement of sanctions on Russian companies EN+ <ENPLq.L >, Rusal and Gaz PAO for nearly four weeks as their top shareholder works on a plan to cut his stakes.

U.S. authorities had given Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska until Dec. 12 to reduce his holdings in the three companies but said in a statement that the deadline had been moved to Jan. 7, 2019.

The U.S. Treasury Department had imposed sanctions against Rusal and other countries linked to Deripaska in April but has since postponed any action several times as authorities reconsider blacklisting him.

Friday’s move extends licenses relating to the sanctioned firms to authorize activities needed to wind down operations or contracts, according to a statement on the U.S. Treasury Department’s website. It also extends licenses to authorize transactions needed to divest debt, equity and other holdings.

Rusal, En+ and GAZ declined to comment. (Reporting by Tim Ahmann and Susan Heavey in Washington and Polina Devitt in Moscow)