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By John Helmer, Moscow A case that has been going through the courts in London for months, and will be argued afresh in November before the Supreme Court, Britain’s highest tribunal, reveals not only how easy it was for a group of alleged fraudsters to borrow $225 million from state-controlled VTB Bank. Also revealed is […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Never was a Russian design more nobly intended for the edification of London’s upper class since Karl Marx scribbled away at the British Museum Library. Never were the fetish of the object and the alienation of labor more artfully combined. Had Mr Bean done it, the Prime Minister and the Mayor […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow It’s no surprise that when Alisher Usmanov (left) proposed an initial public offering (IPO) of Megafon, a mobile telephone company he controls, he decided to keep all his shares to himself, and to oblige new sharebuyers to bid for stock being sold from the treasury of Megafon, and from minority stockholder, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Very occasionally it happens that the lie a man tells, or his lawyer, comes back to haunt him. Here is the judgement in the case of Michael Cherney (Chernoy) v Oleg Deripaska, issued by the UK Court of Appeal on October 3. Not a word of it has appeared yet in […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The two 20-year veteran coalminers who have directed Raspadskaya, one of Russia’s leading coking coal producers, have unexpectedly sold out their stake in the company. According to the terms of the deal announced in Moscow yesterday, Evraz, the vertically integrated steel and mining group controlled by Roman Abramovich (left image), will […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The Canadian valuer hired to provide an independent valuation of High River Gold (HRG) for Nord Gold’s takeover offer appears to be recommending a higher price than Alexei Mordashov, owner of Nord Gold and 75% shareholder of HRG, wants to pay, leaving the takeover in limbo. Paradigm Capital’s research department, headed […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow It takes a Russian to know how to build a Potemkin village, and hide behind it. It takes Alexei Mordashov to answer questions through a telephone number that rings in Amsterdam only to be relayed to a Moscow office, where the person in charge hangs up the receiver. That’s a false […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow United Company Rusal, the Jersey-registered aluminium monopoly of Russia, has announced that “Mr Barry Cheung resigns as Chairman of the Company with effect from 1 October 2012, but will remain as an independent non-executive director of the Company. The Board is pleased to announce that Mr Matthias Warnig, an independent non-executive […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Journalists arranging tuxedo events to give themselves prizes are even sillier than Hollywood actors at the Oscar ceremony. There are also no comedians to tell jokes to neutralize the gastroenteric reflex that is always brought on in audiences by a surfeit of brown-nosing. For the British children in the audience who […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Gazprom, Russia’s largest company, has announced a plan to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) it isn’t producing to terminals piping ship fuel into a fleet of vessels which the Summa Capital group, directed by Ziyavudin Magomedov, would like to operate — only they don’t exist either. The scheme is more environmentally […]