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By John Helmer in Moscow Two steel oligarchs are trying riding the Russian wave of boom and bust. There’s nothing like a little oil (and gas) to grease the wheels of demand. But announcements this week from two of Russia’s largest steelmakers — 3rd ranked Severstal, owned by Alexei Mordashov, and 5th ranked Mechel, owned [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow MOSCOW – Eric Ambler told the tale of a clapped-out reporter whose near-bankrupt newsletter suddenly starts to make a fortune on its classified advertisements. The journalist couldn’t understand why, but didn’t want to look his gift horse too closely in the mouth. It turned out that someone was publishing coded [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Never mind Walt Disney or Johnny Depp — the last certified Caribbean pirate was Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard. He died on November 21, 1718. His professional practice came to an end with five bullet holes, and 21 stab-wounds. His head was then cut off, and stuck on the bowsprit of [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Eric Ambler once told the tale of a clapped-out Australian reporter, based in Hong Kong, whose near-bankrupt newsletter suddenly starts to make a fortune on its classified advertisements. The journalist couldn’t understand why, but didn’t want to look his gift horse too closely in the mouth. It turned out that [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Nigerians try to wind up international gas companies against Gazprom “threat” Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer and Russia’s dominant enterprise, is not ready for mega-deals with Nigeria, executives told Mineweb this week in Moscow. They also warned the Nigerian Gas Company and government officials against manipulating Gazprom as a [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow It’s never been the custom of Russian hunters to speak of hitting two birds with one stone. Instead, the Russian expression is to kill two rabbits with one shot. Lest anyone think that President Vladimir Putin is losing his grip, the Kremlin last evening revealed a move that firmly knocks [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow There’s a well-known Russian maxim, which can be roughly translated as: “Pull out your nose, your tail will get stuck; pull out your tail, your nose will get stuck.” The sticking place, it’s understood, is mud; murk; one unpleasantly adhesive predicament, or another. You might say this is what has [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Potanin gathers Kremlin support for blocking Norilsk Nickel takeover by Deripaska’s Rusal. One of the key Kremlin figures, who intervened last autumn in the fight between Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov, has decided not to back Oleg Deripaska in his hostile takeover bid for Norilsk Nickel. The figure, who declined [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Ukrainian steel company rejects Usmanov merger proposal on respective value grounds. Alisher Usmanov’s Russian iron-ore group Gazmetall has failed to strike a deal to take over the Industrial Union of Donbass (IUD), a Ukrainian steelmaker, after the Ukrainians agreed to take Usmanov’s iron-ore for their furnaces, but refused to accept [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The latest in Russian checks on penny gold stocks ABV Gold and Aurus fail to support gold resource and other claims made by the companies concerned. Following Mineweb’s previous reports on the companies, fresh announcements from ABV Gold and Aurus have had mixed impact on the US over-the-counter pinksheets market. [...]