ENRC’s Promise (an update)
FTSE 100 miner Eurasion Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) had a torrid few years following their London listing. Still-powerful founders, a significant shareholding by the Kazakstan government and the new demand of London-listing created an explosive mix. And indeed, things did explode with a serious board-room split last year. Since then, however, ENRC has settled it’s hugely problematic dispute with First Quantum over it’s former DRC assets; co-operated with the SFO over its concerns about other deals and appointed Mehmet Dalman as Chair. Dalman immediately committed himself to tackling a difficult issue in the Democratic Republic of The Congo head on. Now comes the news that Dalman has made it clear that in future ENRC will only deal direct with government, rather than through ‘agents’.
Countries like the DRC represent considerable risks for potential investors. Most potential investors agree that transparency helps everyone but they’re also acutely aware that some foreign entities don’t play by the same rules. Given all that, it’s encouraging to think that ENRC might soon end up successfully creating thousands of jobs and transparently contributing millions of dollars to the DRC treasury. If they do, it’ll mark an impressive turnaround.