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By John Helmer in Moscow There can’t be too many young children, who were still awake when the Ukrainian gas pantomine finished its traditional January run on Monday evening in Moscow. The problem was that those presiding at the curtain-fall, the Prime Ministers of Russia and Ukraine, and the heads of their respective gas companies, […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow It is commonplace for foxes to take chickens where they find them. It is rare for the fox to stay on, and appoint himself chief executive of the hen-house. It is unprecedented for the fox to sell the bird carcasses for a premium to the poulterer. From inside the coop, […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Market speculation in Moscow turned sharply negative for Uralkali, Russia’s dominant potash producer, on Wednesday this week, as the share price was slashed 8% to $1.67 on the Russian Trading System (RTS). This followed a modest drift upward in international trading of the shares, while the RTS was closed for […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow After Far Eastern Shipping Company (Fesco), Russia’s dry-cargo fleet leader, lost 22% off its share price in the past week, Moscow investment bank Renaissance Capital has issued an investment warning that the plummeting rate for container shipping between Asia and Europe “creates a major headwind for FESCO”. Fesco (ticker FESH:RU), […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Roman Abramovich’s holding company Millhouse has obliged two of its Russian steelmaking partners, Alexander Abramov and Alexander Frolov, to buy an indirect stake of 9.99% in Highland Gold Mining. No explanation for the move has been issued, either by Highland Gold, or by Millhouse; or by Abramov and Frolov, who […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow With a 17-line announcement the Toronto-listed Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC), a De Beers-affiliated company, has cancelled its agreement to mine diamonds in the Arkhangelsk region of northwestern Russia. Almost twenty years of exploration and mining effort, including the first major diamond discovery in western Russia for a century, have been […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Oleg Mitvol, Russia’s well-known mining regulator and gadfly to Aim-traded stock values, has filed a half-dozen lawsuits in Moscow, challenging the terms of his removal from his functions. And he appears to have Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin on his side. The legal and political moves follow months of effort […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow With the end of the year 2008, the last of the legendary diamond cartel deals has sunk back into the murk from which it originated when Cecil Rhodes created his African Diamond Syndicate in 1873. Forced three years ago by a ruling of the European Commission (EC) to halt trading […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Alrosa, Russia’s state-owned diamond miner, has reported that rough sales this year have slipped by 1.1%, and will slip by ten times that margin in 2009. Alrosa, a wholly state owned shareholding company controlled by the federal government, does not issue production and financial results by the half-year or quarter. […]