Oligarch Evolution

Posted on : 07-06-2012 | By : admin | In : Michel Platini-EURO 2012 in Ukraine, New Tycoons, Oligarch Evolution, Pakistan-Russia, People, Russia is optimistic, Russia Likes Yemen Plan For Syria, Russia sends, Russia to Cancel Oil Export Tax, Russian Central Bank, Russian Hackers Spill LinkedIn Passwords

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Oligarch Evolution

Fridman’s Maneuvers Symbolize Oligarch Evolution.

Mikhail Fridman once seemed omnipotent as one of the elite group of Russian businessmen who amassed vast fortunes and huge political influence under President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s.
More than a decade after Vladimir Putin succeeded Yeltsin and started reining in the oligarchs, Fridman is on the defensive as a new generation of businessmen snatch up assets and the Kremlin reasserts control over the economy.
His call for a divorce from BP, his partner in Russia’s No. 3 oil firm TNK-BP, and the $5 billion sale of his stake in mobile firm MegaFon are widely seen as evidence that he is following other oligarchs by cutting his exposure in Russia.
“There’s a new generation of oligarchs — their horizon is longer — and then there’s the earlier generation that are tired or see the writing on the wall,” said one senior source in the Moscow business community. “I don’t think that the Fridmans of this world will be living in Russia in 10 years.”
Fridman, 48, usually avoids publicity but rebutted suggestions that he is ready to throw in the towel in a rare newspaper interview after he quit last week as chief executive of TNK-BP.
“Why do I need cash? So I can sit by the seaside or go for a sail?” he told Kommersant daily. “I’ve got nothing against sailing — it’s an excellent activity — it’s just not for me.”
BP’s subsequent announcement that it may sell its stake in the 50-50 joint venture triggers a lengthy sale procedure that gives a Fridman-led quartet of billionaire shareholders an initial chance to offer to buy the British oil major’s stake.
But with ex-Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin — last month named chief executive of state oil major Rosneft — waiting in the wings as a potential buyer, industry watchers do not rule out an exit by the oligarchs, who own their stake through the AAR group.
A gradual withdrawal by BP from TNK-BP was one option, Fridman said in the Kommersant interview, while a sale by AAR that included partial payment in BP stock was another.

Empire Building

Posted on : 07-06-2012 | By : admin | In : Empire Building, EU ambassador, Ex-Defense Chief in Ukraine, Interfax-Ukraine, Kiev, Kremlin, Kremlin2, Michel Platini-EURO 2012 in Ukraine

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Empire Building

Empire Building

Fridman started out with a window-cleaning business as the Soviet Union collapsed, ushering in the rampant capitalism in which a few people were able to quickly build business empires.

He went on to amass a wide range of assets from the oil, banking, retail and telecoms sectors, buying up Soviet energy assets on the cheap and staking a string of wagers on the emergence of a free-spending Russian middle class.

With a fortune estimated by Forbes at $13 billion, Fridman’s Alfa Group owns a 25 percent stake in TNK-BP, a near 25 percent voting stake in mobile firm VimpelCom and just under 50 percent in leading food retailer X5. Fridman also owns 36 percent of Alfa Bank.

Fridman’s empire has become increasingly international, which some observers say reflects a desire to spread risk out of Russia. Capital flight out of Russia has been high, blamed in part on a lack of confidence in the country’s respect for property rights and on persistent, rampant corruption.

Fridman is described as intelligent, ruthless and cynical. During his tenure as CEO, TNK-BP entered Vietnam, Venezuela and Brazil. He backed VimpelCom’s costly and controversial expansion into markets such as Africa, to the chagrin of Norwegian partner Telenor, which favored a Russian-focused strategy.

In April, he agreed on a deal to sell out of MegaFon, Russia’s No. 2 phone company, which is eyeing a London IPO. Kremlin-friendly oligarch Alisher Usmanov won control in the deal and later sold an interest to a state-linked company.

Observers say Fridman may also at some point seek a sale of X5, which has struggled since the firm’s chief executive, Lev Khasis, left last year to join U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart.

“There is a general view that he seems to be looking to divest out of Russia and internationalize his business more,” said another source in the Moscow financial community. “I think he’s always wanted to do that.”

Fridman was not available to comment for this article.

Kremlin2

Posted on : 07-06-2012 | By : admin | In : Kiev, Kremlin, Kremlin2, Michel Platini-EURO 2012 in Ukraine, Pakistan-Russia, People, Russia is optimistic, Russia Likes Yemen Plan For Syria

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Kremlin2

The bill would jack up fines from the current 2,000 rubles to 300,000 rubles ($9,000).
Sergei Lisovsky, one of the few upper chamber members to express concern about the bill, said it imposes disproportionally high fines on protesters but does not provide for higher penalties for police brutality.
“We’re talking about citizens of our country here, and we must listen to them,” said Lisovsky. “Where is the liability for the police who can potentially do more harm to our society?”
The Kremlin wants the new bill to become law by next Tuesday when the opposition plans a major protest in Moscow.
Alexei Kudrin, a former deputy prime minister who expressed sympathy with the opposition movement last winter, said in a statement on Wednesday that the bill violates the constitutional right of assembly. He urged a review.
Along with higher fines, the new bill would punish organizers of “large-scale public gatherings” if they disrupt public order. Kudrin, who is believed to maintain strong ties to Putin, said that this provision was so open to interpretation that it would allow authorities to fine a bride and groom if some of their guests started a fight.
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Opposition activists have not yet received official permission for Tuesday’s planned protest.
Rally organizer Alexei Navalny, a key opposition figure, said in his blog on Wednesday that Moscow authorities have rejected their proposal to march on the central Tverskaya street. City Hall claimed that the street as well as many other central locations would be booked for Russia Day, a national holiday.
Navalny said that Moscow authorities and police “are doing their best to provoke a conflict” by rejecting the rally application. Navalny said that the opposition would agree to any location inside the central Garden Ring road, but he said that with or without permission the rally would go ahead.

Michel Platini-EURO 2012 in Ukraine

Posted on : 13-04-2012 | By : admin | In : Michel Platini-EURO 2012 in Ukraine

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Michel Platini-EURO 2012 in Ukraine

Michel Platini: EURO 2012 in Ukraine – True Holiday for Football Fans.

The UEFA President Michel Platini expressed his admiration for Ukraine’s preparation to host EURO 2012 championship. Platini, together with the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych participated in the opening ceremony of the new international terminal at the Lviv Danylo Halytskyi airport.

“It is astounding what a small football can do. What has been done in Ukraine is amazing,” said UEFA President in Lviv. He stressed that no matter how people might feel about football, modern infrastructure was introduced in Ukraine thanks to the sports. “I am sure that in three weeks’ time the atmosphere in Lviv will be wonderful. You [Ukraine] have managed to reach most of the goals. It wasn’t easy, but it will be wonderful,” said Platini. The president of Ukraine expressed his hopes that the European football championship EURO 2012 would be held in Ukraine on a high level, and that Ukraine’s national football team would demonstrate good football.

The new up-to-date international terminal at the Lviv airport boasts the capacity of about 2,100 passengers per hour. The lighting of the terminal was provided by the global leader in lighting solutions Philips: a total of 58 types of lighting technology, including advanced LED devices, illuminate the facade, the interior and the surrounding area of the terminal. Currently, the main task Lviv city administration is facing prior to hosting the championship is building modern infrastructure around the airport. Ukraine’s biggest and most up-to-date airports were modernized in the four host cities for EURO 2012: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Lviv. All the four airports will become fully operational in the current year.

Along with new airports, Ukraine has built and modernized four football stadiums. Kyiv’s Olimpiyskyi, second largest stadium in Eastern Europe, can host up to 70,050 fans. The newly build Arena Lviv was named “the most comfortable stadium for fans among EURO 2012 venues” by UEFA officials. Kharkiv’s Metalist became known as a “spider”: the roof of the stadium is supported by 24 towers resembling the tentacles of a spider. Thanks to massive support the roof can withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0. Opened in 2009, Donetsk’s Donbass Arena became known as the first elite stadium in Eastern Europe.

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