MOSCOW, October 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
RUSSIA! Magazine, a US-based publication, has published a list of Russian businessmen who have found themselves in the danger zone because of the Russian-Ukrainian tensions. These people could be the first to lose their Ukrainian assets if the Ukrainian government decides to tighten financial restrictions in Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities are considering sanctions against Russian businesspeople as one of the options. If these sanctions are imposed, some Russian tycoons can expect margin calls, or at least higher interest rates and harsher lending terms, from Western banks, in addition to substantial direct losses in Ukraine.
The list of those at risk includes:
- Alexander Babakov
- Evgeny Giner
- Dmitry Mazepin
- Alexander Abramov
- Alexander Shishkin
Russia! Magazine, which compiled the list, had surveyed international analysts and experts who focus on Former Soviet Union economy and politics, and on relations between Russia and Ukraine. Among other questions, the magazine asked them for their opinion on how the tensions in Ukraine were going to affect the Russian business community and whether international banks were going to change their policy towards Russian businesspeople.
"The simmering conflict between Russia and Ukraine has already become chronic, but the Russian business community has yet to feel the full impact of the tensions. This impact is going to become progressively stronger, so we have asked experts to identify the prominent businessmen, tycoons, whose business empires are likely to be the first to be affected by this," said Greg King, a spokesman for Russia! Magazine.
"The longer these tensions last, the higher the risk of additional asset freezes or (in the case of Ukraine) of potential outright confiscations. I believe that we are very likely to see Western sanctions become significantly tougher from the current levels," Forbes contributor Mark Adomanis said about the situation.
"The Ukrainian crisis is having a critical detrimental effect on the Russian economy overall. However, few people pause to consider what is going to happen to the assets of Russian business people with a strong presence in the Ukrainian market. They have found themselves facing a double whammy of political pressure at home and financial pressure overseas. One businessman on the list, Dmitry Mazepin, is a typical example: his Ukrainian operations are subject to severe political risks: what is more important to him: his profits or staying loyal to the Russian authorities? And besides, how can he persuade Western banks not to increase interest rates on his debt? The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that Mazepin controls a substantial equity stake in a large public potash producer, Uralkali (LSE: URKA), a stock which has been under pressure due to the company's association with someone whom the markets see as a "problem" shareholder: URKA has lost more than 15% of its value over the past three months despite the company's focus on export markets unaffected by the sanctions.
Businessmen on this list have substantial business interests and a significant share of their assets in Ukraine. Also, experts expect the first "alarm bells" to ring soon, as Western banks, which have been the main source of financing for large Russian businesses over the past decade, react to the ongoing situation in Ukraine and Russia.
Russia! Magazine is an English-language magazine of news, comments and analysis about Russia provided by leading international experts and journalists. The magazine was established in 2007.
SOURCE Russia! Magazine