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By John Helmer Georgian gold miner Madneuli gets Russian financing for goldmine moves in Armenia, Azerbaijan lodges protest Georgian gold miner Madneuli gets Russian financing for goldmine moves in Armenia, Azerbaijan lodges protest. Queen Tamar, the greatest of the Georgian sovereigns (1184-1213), is responsible for the habit Georgian rulers have displayed for the past millennium [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow LSE regulators and US government investigations trigger strategy differences on getting Rusal to market. US and European banks are fighting among themselves over the terms of the proposed initial placement offering (IPO) of shares of United Company Rusal, the Russian owned bauxite miner and world’s no.2 aluminium producer. The conflict [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow For the hundred and fifty years between the Opium Wars and the end of World War II, the China Discount was notorious in the Shanghai Bund, on the bank of the Huangpu River. It represented the gap between the little western traders would agree to pay for Chinese-made goods, and [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Norway is one of those countries, inhabited by one of those peoples, which have exercised some of the greatest comedians in the English language – to little avail. John Cleese once explained his assignment on behalf of the Norwegian Tourist Board, as he stepped out of a wet summer fjord [...]

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OPINION AND ANALYSIS “It’s pleasant to be here, you feel comfortable, and you don’t feel people are watching you,” Roman Abramovich on buying Chelsea Football Club in London, for equity and debt totaling $240 million. Russian villagers like to say that if you drink you die; and if you don’t drink you die, so it’s [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Harry Lime was the character invented by novelist and one-time intelligence officer Graham Greene, who understood how an investment banker should operate when the breakdown of government makes the black market the only source of supply, trade, and profit. Lime’s racket in post-war Vienna, then occupied by the allied armies, [...]

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By John Helmer Armenia plans revocation of Zod gold mine licence, as Georgians push for bargain-priced asset flip The Armenian Government goes to court on Monday of this week to revoke the gold mining licence issued in 1999 to the Ararat Gold Recovery Company (AGRC). This is the local operating affiliate of Sterlite Gold, which [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The torch that Oleg Deripaska, controlling shareholder of United Company Rusal, is trying to pass to Alexander Bulygin, Rusal’s chief executive, is proving to be a hot potato. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that in its strategy for listing Rusal shares later this year on the London Stock [...]