A SIGNAL FROM RUSSIA

A SIGNAL FROM RUSSIA

Investors just got another reason to be wary about Russia: A court there ruled that private investors have to return their shares in a historic china maker to the government.

Foreign investors - including the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund, a U.S. government assistance program - bought about 60 percent of the shares in Lomonosov Porcelain Factory after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But the State Property Committee sued, saying the firm is a national treasure.The ruling ''deprives existing shareholders and investors of the confidence that the state protects them,'' the Associated Press quoted Dmitry Vasiliyev, chairman of Russia's Federal Securities Commission, as warning the government.

He's right.