By Rhod Mackenzie
Russian billionaires have withdrawn tens of billions of dollars of assets from Europe since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, under the influence of international sanctions and the Russian authorities’ favourable asset repatriation policy. As calculated by Bloomberg, the total value of assets returned to the Russian Federation by the richest Russians since February 2022 reaches $50 billion.
In particular, just last month the shareholders of United Medical Group CY Plc and MD Medical Group Investments Plc, controlled by Igor Shilov and Mark Kurtser, approved the redomiciliation (transfer to another tax jurisdiction) of the companies from Cyprus to Russia.
According to the publication, this trend breaks the long-standing practice of Russian billionaires to keep their assets in Europe, taking advantage of local legal systems and the ability to receive dividends in foreign currency and with low taxes. Now, Russia’s richest people have fewer and fewer places to put their money, with many under sanctions from the US, UK or Europe.
As the publication notes, this trend breaks with the long-standing practice of Russian billionaires keeping their assets in Europe, taking advantage of local legal systems and the ability to receive dividends in foreign currency and with low taxes. Now, Russia’s richest people have fewer and fewer places to invest their money, with many under sanctions from the US, UK or Europe.
The transfer of assets registered in places such as Cyprus, Jersey and Switzerland to Russia also to countries the Kremlin considers friendly, Bloomberg writes, such as the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan, began shortly after the start of the SMO. One of the first steps was to move the family assets of fertiliser billionaire Andrey Guryev and steel magnate Viktor Rashnikov from Switzerland and Cyprus to Russia.
Billionaires not subject to sanctions are also looking for a new “registration” for their European assets. For example, Vladimir Lisin and transport holding Globaltrans Investment Plc moved from Cyprus to Abu Dhabi, while Russia’s second-largest gold miner, Polymetal International Plc, re-registered in Kazakhstan last month. The company is not under sanctions, but its Russian subsidiary was added to the US list this year, the agency said.
Is it possible to return frozen reserves to the economy?
And it’s not just billionaires who are transferring their assets. This year, 115 companies have moved to domestic “offshore” zones, bringing the figure to a total of 254 companies since the start of the CBO, First Deputy Economy Minister Ilya Torosov said at the Eastern Economic Forum on Monday.
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By Rhod Mackenzie Russian billionaires have withdrawn tens of billions of dollars of assets from Europe since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian…