Andrew E. Kramer of The New York Times reports that a Russian mining company is threatening to sue a business newspaper in the country for running stories about its financial performance before a planned IPO in the Hong Kong market.
Kramer writes, “A series of articles in the business newspaper Vedomosti at the end of October detailed Rusalâ€™s dismal financial results for 2008 and included other facts about the company. The articles cited documents given to bankers at a conference closed to the public.
“That scoop is evolving into a legal test for business publications in Russia, a country where the political press is already kept on a tight rein.
“‘How can a company consider profit and loss a commercial secret?’ Elizaveta Osetinskaya, Vedomostiâ€™s editor in chief, said in a telephone interview. She said pressure from Rusal, which is politically well connected, on the newspaperâ€™s reporters to reveal their source could set a worrisome precedent.
“Rusal maintains that Vedomostiâ€™s source probably was an outside financial adviser who would have violated a confidentiality agreement by leaking the information.”
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