Monday, August 26, 2013

Developing--CEO of Russia's Uralkali Detained in Belarus on "Suspicion of Abising Official Power" (URKA.L; POT; MOS; IPI)

Hardball. He wrecked the cartel.
From Reuters:

UPDATE 1-Head of Russia's Uralkali detained in Belarus - agencies

CEO detained on suspicion of abusing official powers
* Uralkali quit JV with Belarus's BPC in July
* Uralkali shares down 2.1 pct

The head of Russia's largest potash producer Uralkali has been detained in Belarus, Russian news agencies reported on Monday, escalating friction between the two ex-Soviet neighbours after the collapse of a joint sales pact.

Vladislav Baumgertner, also a supervisory board member at the Belarus Potash Co (BPC), was held by the Belarusian Investigative Committee on suspicion of abusing his position and official powers, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Belarus, led by President Alexander Lukashenko since 1994, is a staunch Russian ally, but Uralkali's surprise decision to quit a joint trading venture with BPC in July strained relations between the two countries.

The dissolution of the cartel, which could cause the global potash price to plummet 25 percent in the second half of 2013, raised the prospect of aggressive competition in a market where a few powerful suppliers have long been able to command high prices for the soil nutrient....MORE
Also at Reuters:
..."He (Baumgertner) was in Minsk at the invitation of Prime Minister Myasnikovich. He met with him, and after the meeting he was detained at the airport," said Uralkali representative Alexander Babinski....