Thanks for your thoughtful insights. I think we agree on most issues.
But I have to say that the question of who was stealing from whom in 2003 is a merky one in Russia. The whole privitization campaign was one big theft. I mean TNT, just like so many other things in Russia, was build by the Soviet government (or better, by the Soviet people). So $41 millions for "social expenditures" was really petty change. The problem, of course, that the funds most likely didn't go for any social programs but were simply stolen by some corrupt individuals (not by the Government that was really non-extistent in Russia at that time).
Don't forget that the Finance Minister of Tatarstan is on TNT's board of directors! So a 145 million "loan" was really like putting money from one pocket to another. I'm sure TNT got enough tax breaks to benefit from that "loan".
Did you hear about TNT spending hundreds of millions on buying the real estate in London, "for the benefit its workers" (another "social program")? That also happend in 2003 or before that.
But my point is that this kind of brazen behavior is IN THE PAST. That's why the stock has appreciated so much since 2003! Look and the chart. The oil people in Russia were really scared by the Yukos afair. Putting Khodorkovsky behind the bars was the best thing Putin could have done for investors to Russia!
As the result, the Russian companies are much more careful with their accounting these days. Believe me, Ernst&Young is working 24/7 to finish those reports. And once they are out, the stock will go through the roof!
I mean, NYSE is talking about delisting the stock and it is still growing like crazy! Do you think people that stupid? No! The company is still undervalued a big time, due to the mess that Russia and TNT "enjoyed" just a few years ago. But now we live in a different dispensation. That's why I have a STRONG BUY on this stock. Once an accounting mess is cleaned up, TNT will go through the roof! Or once the weather gets cold in the continental US - whatever comes first :))