Kazakhstan’s Tycoons–Including Members Of Nazarbayev Family–Shed Billions As Stocks Plunge

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The fortunes of the billionaires behind some of Kazakhstan’s most famous businesses have plummeted in recent days as the country grapples with national protests against the ruling regime.

Together, the four Kazakh billionaires—including the former president’s daughter and son-in-law—are $3 billion poorer as of Jan. Protests were triggered by a sharp rise in gasoline prices last week, which quickly turned into anger. Alleged corruption in the political system of longtime former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

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Shares of two big banks—Kaspi and JSC Halyk Bank—took down as protesters torched public buildings and toppled statues. The Nazarbayev family left Kazakhstan on January 5 for Moscow in five private jets, according to a report on Friday by Benjamin Godwin, an expert in Central Asia and head of analysis at UK-based PRISM Political Risk Management. A contact, described in the report as “a modest figure in the Nazarbayev family”, said that Nazarbayev, known to be a Putin loyalist, was traveling to Moscow to “be with family”. Were were

Billionaire Vyacheslav Kim, the largest shareholder and chairman of London-listed Kaspi Bank, Kazakhstan’s largest payments and fintech company, is $1.4 billion poor, as Kaspi’s share price fell 30% from $118 on January 4 to $87 on January 6. from which their estimated net profit was made. From $5.7 billion to $4.2 billion.

Mikhail Lomtadze, a native of the Republic of Georgia and CEO of Kaspi, is nearly $1.4 billion poor; His estimated net worth declined from $5.2 billion on January 4 to $3.8 billion on January 6 during two nights of uncertainty in the country. The share price fell after reports that banks, including Kaspi and Halik, would not process pension payments until the end of the state of emergency declared by the government on January 19.

Nazarbayev’s daughter, Dinara Kulibayeva, and her husband, Timur Kulibayev, have jointly lost $200 million as the value of their stake in London-listed JSC Halyk Bank fell 16%. couple, who Businesshala Estimated to be worth $3.1 billion each, the bank owns the majority of shares, as well as has vast real estate and private investment portfolios.

Timur Kulibaev, age 55, rose through the ranks in Kazakhstan’s natural mineral industry to become chairman of the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, later sitting on the board of Russian energy giant Gazprom. In 1992, during the early days of privatization in Kazakhstan, Kulibaev formed the investment group Altyn Alma to capitalize on the country’s emerging opportunities; His group later morphed into Almex LLP. Success came in 2004, when a company under his control sold Kazakhstan-based Kar-Tel to Vimpelcom for $350 million. In 2014, he sold Altinalmas Gold to Polymetal, owned by Russian billionaire Alexander Nesis, for cash and company shares. Nazarbayev has three daughters; The second oldest Dinara is married to Kulibaev.

What’s next for Nazarbayev, who led Kazakhstan from 1990 to 2019? According to Godwin of PRISM, it “no longer exists as a political force” within the country. Describing the development as “the end of the first phase of transition”, Godwin states that the second phase is likely to be “extremely complex” due to the “ubiquity of the Nazarbayev family” in Kazakhstan’s post-Soviet system of state capitalism. He expects a period of transition.

The Nazarbayev family may eventually look to London for sanctuary. According to a recent report open democracy On the majority of assets in the UK real estate world, the extended Nazarbayev family owns around $450 million in luxury assets in the country. Specifically, the UK-based investigative news platform source material It is revealed that Nazarbayev’s daughter Nazarbayeva and her son are the owners of 221b Baker Street, the fictional home of the Sherlock Holmes character. A spokesman for the Nazarbayev family could not be reached for comment.

The famous address is a small part of a Kazakh estate in London. in april 2020 Businesshala Covered a government agency’s failed attempt to explain the Nazarbayev’s family ownership of three London properties worth $52 million, $43 million and $12 million respectively.

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