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By John Helmer, Moscow Gazprom, the Russian gas producer and exporter, is thinking of reviving an old idea to refine natural gas on the Baltic shore and ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) westward to European markets in competition against Qatar and Nigeria. At least that’s what Ziyavudin Magomedov (image right), chairman of the Summa Group, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The share price of United Company Rusal, the state-controlled Russian aluminium monopoly, lost 3% in value in Hong Kong Stock Exchange trading on Monday on news that Barry Cheung, a prominent Hong Kong businessman, had resigned from the Rusal board as his own business collapsed, and that he was the target […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow According to Russian-language records and a Tashkent party film published by Stockholm television last week, Alisher Usmanov held the hand of Gulnara Karimova and whispered intimately to her just days after the latter had been making plans to collect millions of dollars in payments from Swedish telephone company, TeliaSonera. Karimova is […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Tethered high above Victor Pinchuk’s newest steel smelter at the Interpipe plant, visible for miles around the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk, is a large balloon. It’s meant to symbolize what the Interpipe website is calling the smelter’s state-of-the-art technology — “the construction plant has no harmful effect on the atmosphere […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow There has been no movement in Evraz’s proposed sale of its South African unit, Highveld Steel & Vanadium, to Nemascore, a special purpose vehicle created in February by a black empowerment enterprise linked to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma (right). The deal for $320 million was announced by Evraz in March. […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Roman Abramovich (left) landed in Hong Kong on Tuesday afternoon. Abramovich is an influential shareholder in Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest mining and metals company, on whose dividends the loss-making United Company Rusal now depends to stay out of the red. Rusal is the Russian aluminium monopoly, but Hong Kong is home […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If you are looking for Gennady Timchenko (second from right), the dominant Russian in the partnership which created the oil trader Gunvor, you won’t find him in the market prospectus Gunvor has just released to the market. That’s because the document, dated May 10, 2013, spells his name Guennadi Timtchenko. The […]

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Hong Kong May 17, 2013: 0850 Dear Mr. Helmer: I have no wish to comment on whatever article you wished to write, but since you have put it to me and I have to disagree with you in many of the statements made, in particular:

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By John Helmer, Moscow So far Elsie Leung Oi-Se has been paid $632,000 by United Company Rusal to listen attentively, read carefully, and speak her mind at meetings of the main board of directors, and also the audit committee of the board. Rusal titles her an independent non-executive director. She is one of five of […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Arkhangelskgeoldobycha (AGD), the LUKoil diamond-mining subsidiary, has made its first detailed presentation of the new mine it is building in Arkhangelsk, with confirmation of the new mine’s diamond grades, volume of production, and financial value. The Grib mine, named after the Russian geologist who first found the deposit, is the first […]