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By John Helmer, Moscow Evraz, the Russian steelmaker listed on the London Stock Exchange main board, is being sued in the UK High Court for $35.8 million by a group of Swiss investors over a failed project to build a terminal for iron-ore and coking coal at Yuzhny port, on the Ukrainian Black Sea coast […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow When crisis strikes the global steel sector, sales revenues drop faster than costs, and earnings and profits shrink. The normal correction is for mill owners to cut their costs by reducing production, closing furnaces, furloughing workers, trimming supply of steel into the marketplace, cutting product prices to clear unsold inventories, and […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If Vnesheconombank (VEB), the state bailout bank chaired by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, really has agreed to pay $5.3 billion for the 80% control shareholding of Raspadskaya, the coking coalminer, then this is going to be Roman Abramovich’s lucky day. His second lucky day, if to count the September 2005 transaction […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Oleg Deripaska’s EN+ holding has been eliminated from the international bidding for Tavan Tolgoi, Mongolia’s largest mining project. Instead, according to US diplomatic sources, the Mongolian Government has decided to award shares in the project to the Russian Railways consortium, an American coalminer, and a Chinese group.

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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 In the game of cricket, nothing is rarer than a hat-trick. That is when the bowler for one side dismisses three batsmen for the opposing side in three successive balls. For the bowling side, it is a rare triumph, and almost never happens in international test games. For the batting side, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Russia’s largest coking coal producer independent of the major steel groups is for sale, as the two controlling shareholder groups — Gennady Kosovoy and Alexander Vagin, who run the management, and the Evraz group — have engaged investment banks to find a buyer for their combined 80% stake in the company. […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Deep inside the Russian government there is a chamber of secrets where officials have gathered just eight times since April 29, 2008, the day when then-President Vladimir Putin signed the law that created the chamber. The law was entitled “On Procedures for Foreign Investments in Business Entities of Strategic Importance for […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow In the business of bloodsucking, noone does it better than Glencore of Baar, Switzerland. They call it trading. The way it works is that Glencore sinks its teeth into anyone unknowing, foolish, impoverished or desperate enough to come within range. Glencore then trades on 18% or higher profit margins for […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met yesterday at Novokuznetsk city, in the Kemerovo region, with families of miners who were killed at the May 8 explosions that destroyed the Raspadskaya coking-coal mine, one of Russia’s largest. In remarks published on the prime ministry website, Putin hinted that he holds Raspadskaya’s management […]