West Internet portal "The Russian industrial leaders index" published an expert report on the business strategy of Oleg Deripaska. The translation of the report of REGNUM News is published below in full and without modification, placing responsibility for the content and evaluation of the report on experts and on the Publishing House that has first published the original document:
"Confidential. Memorandum for the development of investment strategy - RUSAL is about to collide with Norilsk Nickel. June 1, 2010 - Actions of RUSAL - the threat to the stock price of Norilsk Nickel
Quotes of shares of Norilsk Nickel are "threatened with new round of aggressive actions by the United Company RUSAL and tactics of its main shareholder Oleg Deripaska, supported by another shareholder Mikhail Prokhorov.
- Predation - the typical style for Deripaska. The violent takeover, discreditation, the black PR, manipulation of administrative resources of Russian state structures against competitors - these are the methods by which he has been building Group RUSAL.
- IPO of RUSAL on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (GBF) in January 2010 turned into a huge disappointment to investors who bought shares in the company, although it allowed RUSAL to stay afloat by paying off to the international consortium of creditor banks. Deripaska's failure to meet overly optimistic promises about the company's stock price has undermined his credibility in the eyes of patrons in the Kremlin; the IPO depended on them - although initially the Kremlin had backed RUSAL precisely in order to save its reputation.
- the IPO of RUSAL conducted simultaneously on the Paris stock exchange ended in complete failure
- Major investment markets - London and Hong Kong — were not convinced neither by "road show" of RUSAL, nor by the efforts of the Rothschilds to promote its shares. Most institutional investors and fund managers did not participate in the IPO, while very limited initial investments in illiquid securities carried a turnover (i.e. Were sold or resold) with the extraordinary speed.
- Deripaska is not trusted on the investment markets, despite an endless series of public relations promotional actions, that is evident in the estimates of Bloomberg. Objective information relates to the dynamics of the value of shares of RUSAL in relation to the price of primary aluminum (on the London Stock Exchange). RUSAL advertises its shares by presenting their purchase as an investment in the cost of aluminum, which, according to its representatives, the company produces at a lower cost and higher profit margins than international competitors. However, data on share prices suggests that Deripaska "ripped" them from aluminum - RUSAL demonstrates a weak link of its securities with the price of this metal than the comparable companies Alcoa (USA) and Chalco (China). As a result, in the case of a rise in prices for aluminum, RUSAL's shares rise less than the securities of other companies. On the other hand, if aluminum becomes cheaper, shares of RUSAL "sag" more and last longer than papers of competitors.
- Experts from the investment funds specializing in emerging markets perceive this as a problem related solely to the company and Mr. Deripaska, but not to general risks of investments in Russia. Share prices of other Russian companies working in the material sector - Rosneft, Gazprom, Norilsk Nickel — are more related to the prices on their primary products (oil, gas, nickel) than papers of RUSAL depend on aluminum.
- The reason here is there is a common opinion on the Hong Kong and other Asian markets: RUSAL is not so much a player in the aluminum industry, as a player, connected with the Russian state. This is due to the role of a guarantor of IPO played by the Russian government; Moreover, they have persuaded the government of Hong Kong and China, which initially did not want to give a sanction. Due to this "state guarantee" IPO took place. However, it can not serve as a powerful protection against falling prices. As soon as the market perceives that investments in securities of the countries with economies in transition are fraught with high risks, RUSAL's shares will suffer more than others.
- On the investment markets it is also considered that since July quotes of RUSAL would face a possible release of a large block of its shares to the market. This month, its creditors — banks that received warrants for shares of the company free of charge in the course of the IPO - will be able to "unfreeze" these securities and sell them.
- In addition, a serious danger to the value of the securities of RUSAL comes from Guinea: the authorities of the country want to cancel the transaction, due to which Rusal had bought a concession of a complex for the production of bauxite (the estimated value of it is up to 15% of market capitalization); and to resell the company to its competitors - international aluminum corporations. The government in Guinea is fragile, but its actions against transnational mining corporations enable to score political points, which is especially important this year, when the country must pass through the presidential and parliamentary elections. The British company Rio Tinto has already lost half of the assets in iron ore in Simandu acquired in a concession: the Guinean authorities disavowed the agreement and re-sold assets. In RUSAL is not guaranteed of such an outcome.
- Finally, by the end of this year or no later than the first quarter of the next year, a process will start in the British court of a suit for breach of contractual obligations and assignment of assets filed against Deripaska by his former patron and companion Mikhail Cherny. As far as the British judges hinted they do not believe Deripaska, Cherny is likely to win the process. The trials in the UK (as well as Switzerland, Spain, USA and Israel) undermine the reputation of Mr. Deripaska, putting him in an extremely negative light.
Source: Regnum, 24.06.2010