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By John Helmer, Moscow Yesterday’s report on the Guinean President’s ultimatum to Rusal to use or lose the giant Dian-Dian bauxite deposit has drawn fresh sources with additional information, confirming the deterioration in Rusal’s hold on its concession agreement. According to Vladislav Soloviev, Oleg Deripaska’s first deputy at Rusal headquarters in Moscow, his company is [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Now it’s official – the French, British, Americans, Chinese and Indians are all behind Guinean President Alpa Conde’s decision to revoke the Russian concession for the world’s largest unmined bauxite mining deposit, Dian-Dian, and hit the current concession holder, United Company Rusal, with back-tax and fraud claims, plus interest and penalties, [...]

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I have long wanted to comment on the investment climate, which was discussed at the meeting of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with the international railway elite, representatives of financial institutions and investment banks in the framework of the Forum 1520.

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By John Helmer, Moscow Two US banks named in May by Phosagro as mandated arrangers of its initial public offering (IPO) walked away from the share sale attempt after finding little interest among international investors to buy the shares from Phosagro’s owner, Andrei Guriev. The Americans also had problems with verifying how Guriev came into [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If Phosagro, one of Russia’s leading phosphate miners and exporters, were a Mom and Pop store, the release this morning of the 441-page prospectus reveals that Mom Gurieva and Pop Guriev are selling a good part of the family jewels for cash. The only other seller of shares for the initial [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow When the gravy train to China starts running, it can be educational for investors in the greater Sino-Russian iron-ore market to slow down, and patiently study how Australians, rivals of the Russians and other iron-ore suppliers, behave when the brakes are off – and the regulators appear to be going in [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In The Long Good-Bye, private detective Philip Marlowe says of the snob column in the newspapers, “I don’t read them often, only when I run out of things I dislike.” Some people feel that way about the weekly report from Emerging Portfolio Fund Research(EPFR). That is the Boston outfit which tracks [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow For those with a taste for the burlesque, politicians speaking for the cash interests of the perishable food trade are hard to match. The smaller the politician’s country of origin, the louder the petomane, and the bigger the pratfall. Russia’s chief food inspector Gennady Onishchenko (left image) yesterday ordered the ban [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A decade ago, when Oleg Deripaska trusted Gulzhan Moldazhova, his principal money-changer, to negotiate with China, the authorities in Beijing were reluctant to agree to permitting what was then called Russian Aluminium (Rusal) to open a representative office in Beijing. Until then Rusal had exported aluminium to China through international traders [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Transneft, the state-owned Russian oil pipeline company, is now refusing to pay state-owned oil producer Rosneft $26 million in money Transneft claims that the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) should pay for pipeline deliveries of crude oil, but won’t or hasn’t. The conflict has also revealed discounting tactics affecting all shipborne [...]