Russian billionaires seek to avoid the “storm” of Western sanctions
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Photo: AP
As the United States and other Western nations put pressure on some of Russia’s elite as a way to pressure President Putin, the Russian billionaire I have found my own way out. It is silently transferring ownership, giving up roles on the boards or controlling the companies.
If the Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko’s superyacht worth more than 500 million USD was confiscated by Italian authorities, the billionaire is still lucky, when other huge assets are still safe. Because before that, on the day of his 50th birthday, Mr. Melnichenko transferred the beneficial ownership of two coal energy companies Suek Ao and the world’s largest fertilizer producer – Eurochem to his wife, Ms. Alexandra Melnichenko.
Billionaire Melnichenko is not the only one nimble with his own assets, Russian steel magnate Mordashov has also transferred control of an estimated $1.1 billion stake in the Nordgold miner. based in London, England for his wife.
According to Bloomberg, these moves are part of a race to avoid sanctions by the US and Western countries, as well as to restructure assets while Russian billionaires still can.
However, there are still some people who act too late when the doors close to them. For example, billionaire Roman Abramovich, who owns Chelsea Football Club, did not have time to franchise the Chelsea club, leaving the team in limbo.
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