Sunday, July 13, 2008

Russian Steel - one step forward, two steps back?

Well, after all the progress made in the last decade (or two) with restructuring, modernisation and privatisation of the steel sector in Russia, it seems that the regulators have been taking several steps backwards in recent months. News reports are circulating about the creation of a NewCo called Russpetsstal [sometimes spelt Russpetstal] which is a newly-formed Holding Company for Russia's special steel production assets.

In the RusSpetStal ownership so far is the Red October Works, a producer of stainless steel which the Holding acquired last year. Rumours abound concerning entry into RusSpetStal of MMK [Magnitka, or the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Kombinat]. Perhaps more probable are industry rumours about Mechel [also known as the Cheliabinsk Steel Works] whose special steel assets would be 'welcomed' in the new Group. Driving all this change is a firm called Rosoboronexport, which is a State-owned firm involved in the Russian defence sector.

For more on this story, see

After Venezuela, now Russia ...

Just as the steel industry was starting to look healthy again, perhaps 2008 will be remembered as the year of renationalisation?

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