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Yevtushenkov Case
September 18, 2014 22:36

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There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the arrest of one of Russia’s richest men, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, the owner of the country’s largest publicly traded holding Sistema.
According to its official website, it is now one of Russia's top ten companies by revenues and is one of the largest investment companies in the world. Incorporated in 1993, the group owns a diverse set of public and private companies, which it holds in several distinct portfolios ranging from telecoms to agriculture.
Here’re some of the main assets:
MTS, Medsi, RTI, Detsky Mir, MTS-Bank, Binnopharm, Sarov Technopark, Intourist, RZ Agro Holding.
In 2013, Sistema received US$ 3.2 billion from exits, restructuring and dividends. Sistema's global depository receipts are listed under the symbol "SSA" on the London Stock Exchange (1 GDR is 20 ordinary shares) and the ordinary shares are listed under the symbol "AFKS" on the Moscow Exchange. 
But the asset that made the portfolio look fishy to the investigators was Bashneft bought from the son of Bashkortostan’s former leader. According to the police, that son privatized the assets illegally and laundered the funds by selling this major oil company to Yevtushenkov’s Sistema at what they claim was a lower price.
According to the corporate press release, “Sistema's management believes that the acquisition of BashTEK group was legal and transparent. The company is fully cooperating with the investigation and intends to use all legal means to defend its position.”
Rumours around the detention include Rosneft’s push to buy Bashneft at a cheap price to ramp up its production capabilities amid sanctions limiting Igor Sechin’s plans to develop offshore fields.
Rosneft has strongly rejected the allegations but it is still very much in the news, with many comparing Yevtushenkov to another oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

But whether Russia’s 15th richest billionaire worth some $7 billion is out a free man or the charges are confirmed during the court proceedings, the detention has sent a clear signal to the Russian market and the business community – the stock exchange took a nose dive and business leaders will have a hard time in Sochi listening to pitches while Yevtushenkov’s fate will be buzzing in their minds. 

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Vladimir Yevtushenkov Sistema MTS   

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