According to a report in Bloomberg dated 27 January 2012, Polyus Gold and Polymetal contemplating a potential merger of the gold miners. If they were to proceed with this plan, this would result in the establishment of the ninth largest producer of the metal globally. Polymetal is currently listed on the London Stock Exchange, where Polyus Gold has been trying to gain a listing, so far unsuccessfully. The merger would enable Polyus to gain this primary listing.
Interesting article in The Moscow Times dated 27 January 2012 highlights the issues that the head of Roca in Russia Antonio Linares faced when opening a plant in Leningrad Oblast.
He also indicates how he tackles corruption issues when dealing with the authorities. The company already has six plants in Russia.
This amusing piece in the Guardian on 26 January 2012 picked up on a novel protest against the falsified election results.
In Barnaul (Siberia), as the local residents have been refused the right to protest against the election results, they came up with a novel way of getting their message across: they arranged on the snow various puppets (made from Lego, South Park, teddy bear stickers) holding up protest signs such as United Guinea (a mockery of Putin’s party United Russia, presumably comparing the corruption in Russia to that in parts of Africa).
The authorities are at a loss as how to respond to this display and have been seeking ways to even crack down on this.
So the Ministry of Interior has now announced new successes in combating corruption, claiming to have recovered 50 per cent more in compensation in criminal cases relating to public procurement.
At the same time it admits that the average bribe paid has increased more than threefold to RUB 236,000 or almost GBP 5,000.
At this rate, all the claims by Messrs Zubkov and co. on Russia’s ability to tackle money laundering appear pretty hollow.
On 18 January 2012 oil producer RusPetro, which is 29 per cent owned by management, including former Federal Grid Company managers Andrei Rapport and Alexander Chistyakov, and 48 per cent controlled by Limolines, which is 50 per cent owned by EuroSibEnergo chairman Andrei Likhachev and 50 per cent by investment fund Altera Capital, successfully listed …
According to Kommersant (19 December 2012), ICT Group, which holds interests in Uralkali and Baltic Leasing and manages a portfolio of assets, including Polymetal, Nomos-Bank and Khanty-Mansi Bank, is establishing another rail leasing company, this time with Mitsui. The partners will each 50 per cent in the joint venture, investing initially approximately USD 100 million. …
According to Kommersant (19 January 2012), Uzhuralzoloto Group of Companies (UGC) may try to sell a 25 per cent interest in the Chelyabinsk-based gold miner on the London Stock Exchange this spring, with the goal of raising USD 200 million from the sale.
As the newspaper notes, UGC has already tried to list on three separate occasions, but to no avail. Bankers highly doubt that the planned IPO listing will proceed given the current state of the capital markets and note that the gold miner would probably be more successful if it were to list in Russia instead.
UGC posted RAS 2011 first-half revenues of RUB 3.2 billion, and net profits of RUB 1.1 billion.