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By John Helmer in Moscow Moscow has been having much the same week for the past four months – everyone down at the pier tossing streamers, and waving goodbye, as the flagship investment funds toot their horns and pull away, to sail swiftly over the horizon. It’s cold comfort to the flag-wavers of the Moscow [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Mechel (MTL:US), owned by Igor Zyuzin, fell sharply in Moscow stock market trading Wednesday on news the company is to acquire unlisted, West Virginia-based Bluestone Coal. Without an official company statement so far, Mechel has revealed to brokers and Moscow industry sources that it has agreed to a valuation of [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow And the winner of the Slumdog Millionaire award goes to….Oleg Deripaska, Moscow oligarch, London mansion owner, and controlling shareholder of United Company Rusal, for announcing in Moscow over the weekend that he does not need any financial support from the state. Rusal, in which Deripaska holds a control stake of [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Among the hard-pressed global diamond miners, only one, Russia’s Alrosa, has the capacity to sustain last year’s mining volumes without adding to the inventory overhang, or flooding the market, both of which will crush the price. This is because the Russian state stockpile agency Gokhran is ready to spend state [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The Russian oil industry. and the state treasury too, have breathed a sigh of relief as the Chinese and Russian governments announced this week their agreement on a revolutionary shift in future Russian crude oil flows. According to the announcement from Beijing on Tuesday, where Deputy Prime Ministers Wang Qishan [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Alrosa is negotiating with Lazare Kaplan International (LKI) to decide whether to renew their expiring rough supply and polishing contract, or wind up their relationship. The talks and the details of the longstanding relationship between the two companies remain shrouded in unusual secrecy. Alrosa sources say it is not certain [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Uralkali (ticker URKA:RU), once Russia’s fastest-rising potash miner, continues to wait nervously under the Damocles Sword of a government ruling, which may put the company, or its controlling shareholder, Dmitry Rybolovlev, out of business. Still, Moscow investor sentiment firmed last week, lifting the miner’s London and Moscow-listed share price by [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The Agatha Christie story of 1939 started with a title and a children’s rhyme that are no longer printable for their racist connotations. The story has ended up being called “And There Were None”. Everyone turns up dead — 9 murdered, 1 suicide. It is the biggest-selling of all Christie’s [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been reading his economic history. He knows that the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act (named after its sponsors, Congressman Willis Hawley and Senator Reed Smoot) was the American statute enacted on June 17, 1930, which raised US tariff barriers against more than 20,000 imported goods to record [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow It’s just as normal, geologically speaking, for potash mines to subside and flood, as for high-profit businesses to be taken over, if the price is a bargain, commercially speaking. Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin deserves some credit for combining the two — reviving a two-year old geological anomaly, in order [...]