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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 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 There are three golden rules for valuing Russian initial public offerings (IPOs) in the international market.

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By John Helmer, Moscow This is the season for believing. But less than a fortnight ago, one of the three wise men in the picture – left to right, Filaret Galchev, Alexander Nesis, Suleiman Kerimov – was saying aloud (privately) that the problems of satisfying stakeholders in the proposed Russian potash consolidation were so complicated, […]

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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, Moscow The Russian national potash champion has found Canadian resource nationalism too hot a nutrient to handle.

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By John Helmer, Moscow The Kremlin is thinking of bidding against Australia’s BHP Billiton (BHP) for control of Canada’s leading potash producer, Potash Corporation. But those promoting the bid in Moscow won’t say why they believe the Canadian government should agree to a takeover which the Russians admit they would ask Russia’s Control Commission for […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Even in ignominy or retirement, a big boy’s toys are worth playing with. Uralkali is Russia’s dominant producer of potash fertilizer and will soon merge with Silvinit to become the national potash champion, according to a government scheme first reported here on June 15. At the time, the head of […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Russian public companies are special, and public shareholders are the last to know. But when Suleiman Kerimov is engaged in a deal, you can be certain of knowing one thing — nothing is what it seems. The brokerages egging the market on today to buy Uralkali shares at a premium, […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The first major Russian corporation to attempt to issue shares on the London Stock Exchange since the 2008 crisis has now failed, after the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) opened an investigation into Dmitry Mazepin’s fertilizer holding Uralchem. Undisclosed shareholders; a mysterious $200 million share transaction involving insiders; and inadequate […]