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Monday, January 9, 2012

Mr Rothschild stokes coal struggle in Indonesia

Monday, 09 Jan 2012

It is reported that Mr Nat Rothschild has gained the upper hand in his power struggle with the Indonesian Bakrie family after side lining their top adviser at Bumi Resources the GBP 1.5 billion valued coal mining concern that they co own.

Credit Suisse which is particularly close to the Bakries has effectively been replaced as one of Bumi brokers by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Although Credit Suisse remains a broker for now, it is expected to exit Bumi within two to three months.

The scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty formed Bumi when the Bakrie family Indonesian coal assets were reversed into his much trumpeted cash shell, Vallar last summer.

Mr Rothschild is cochairman with Indra Bakrie. However by November, Mr Rothschild had fired off a letter to Bumi CEO Mr Ari Hudaya complaining about standards of corporate governance at PT Bumi. Mr Rothschild accused PT of needing a radical cleaning up.

The Bakries countered by describing his comments as immature, hasty, irrational and poorly judged.

The loan and the problems it caused made Credit Suisse seem closer to the Bakries than to Mr Rothschild and it, inadvertently, became part of the row. JP Morgan, the company other broker, has largely stayed out of the conflict and has retained its position.

A source close to the situation said "This whole row has put Credit Suisse in an awkward spot and it's been close to the Bakries for a long time. This is a very logical move."


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