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By John Helmer in Moscow Terms of new nickel-iron-ore combination put pressure on Rusal and Deripaska “Though poverty and want are an irresistible temptation to the poor, vanity and great things are as irresistible to others”. As she got up from a night of bedding with a high-paying prince in France, this was how Roxana, [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The FSA investigation of Polyus Gold’s affairs hears duck quacking. Last February, Interros, the Moscow asset holding of Vladimir Potanin, was getting ready to go to the High Court in London to enforce Potanin’s rights in KM-Invest, a special purpose vehicle Potanin controlled with disgruntled partner, Mikhail Prokhorov. At stake [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Brokers put fingers in the dyke, as Kremlin takes fresh bite out of profit According to the tale of Hans Brinker, the brave little Dutch boy stuck his finger in the Haarlem dyke to save the Netherlands from being flooded. In truth, the tale was a 19th century American invention. [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow South Africa’s Foreign Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said there has been a breakthrough in negotiations with the Russian government over terms for the Russian space agency to launch a South African communications satellite. She said she hopes to “see the launch of the satellite by the end of this year.” Dlamini-Zuma [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Volatility in Uralkali share price is no sign of change in value. A month ago, when Mineweb reported that the spot price of potash had cleared the $1,000-tonne threshold and was continuing to rise, the Russian stock market reacted by lifting the share price of lead potash producer, Uralkali (ticker [...]

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News analysis in Business Day, Johannesburg By John Helmer in Moscow A campaign of smears and innuendo linking Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to powerful Russian oil interests, launched last week by a newspaper in London, has drawn a withering counter-attack by Gennady Timchenko, controlling shareholder of Gunvor, and one of the leading oil traders [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The fight between shareholders Mikhail Prokhorov and Vladimir Potanin over the future of Polyus Gold, Russia’s leading goldminer, escalated angrily at the board meeting on May 21, when chief executive Evgeny Ivanov called for a vote to eliminate independent director, Lord Patrick Gillford, from the slate to be submitted to [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Market cuts $2 billion in capital value from Russian steelmaker as US acquisitions mount up. In a market of booming coal, coke, iron-ore and scrap prices, and still insatiable Chinese and Indian demand for steel, it stands to reason that the great vertically integrated Russian steelmaking groups, largely self-sufficient in [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Independent director Lord Gillford effectively warns Polyus Board against potential asset stripping plan while emphasising his independence of the warring factions. Lord Patrick Gillford, the influential independent on the board of Polyus Gold, Russia’s leading goldminer, has warned the board that the company is in danger of an asset stripping [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The largest oil concession in the world is changing direction as Glencore may be losing out in Russia again. Announcements last week from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin indicate that the movement of Russian oil for export is now to be supervised by Putin’s former chief Kremlin aide, Igor Sechin, who [...]