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Vekselberg fights back against U.S. sanctions

The American sanctions against the oligarchs in the environment of Russian President Vladimir Putin were "illegal and unfair," said Viktor Vekselberg in October, in Moscow. He was going to "actions", affirmed the Oligarch and major shareholder of Sulzer and OC Oerlikon domiciled in Zug.

in the Meantime, the pressure is so great that he intervened with the U.S. Department of the Treasury. "We have submitted the application for Review of the sanctions" confirms Andrei Shtorkh, Vekselbergs spokesman in Moscow, the Sunday newspaper on request.

Vekselberg became clear that the at the 6. April sanctions imposed can lead to existence-threatening crisis for him and his group of companies Renova. To take the Winterthur technology group Sulzer, in which he held at the time, 63 per cent, out of the firing line, he had to reduce in April, its holding below 50 percent. To do this, he sold 5 million shares of Sulzer Ltd to the company. The sales of 546 million Swiss francs, he just never got to see, he was transferred on the orders of the sanctioning authority, Ofac in the US. The money was blocked "the blocked accounts," says a spokesman for Sulzer.

the 75 million Swiss francs, the dividend, accruing to Vekselberg 2018, remain blocked. "As long as sanctions against Renova, we will pay no dividends to Tiwel," says a spokesman for Sulzer. Tiwel a financial vehicle, the Vekselbergs keeps on 48.8 percent reduced stake in Sulzer. His share of the Sulzer-dividend in the coming years "will remain for the payment in our books," said Sulzer. In a few years, hundreds of millions of francs, which Vekselberg is entitled to, but he can't access.

His fortune shrank by two to three billion

Why Vekselberg reduced its participation in Tiwel not so far below 50 percent that it disappears from the Radar of the US sanctions authority Ofac? Because in the case of OC Oerlikon, the dividend 2018 flowed to the oligarchs, after he had reduced his stake in the company Liwet, the stock holds its Oerlikon, below 45 percent.

Want to lose weight is not a big investor, a Tiwel package at a reasonable price? Or Vekselberg has fear to lose his most important Swiss industry participation is fully in control of when he reduced the shares in Sulzer again significantly? Be the Moscow office does not want to take a position.

The sanctions have Vekselbergs assets according to the investor magazine "Forbes", 2 to 12 billion dollars in shrink. According to the business magazine "balance" he has become a three billion Swiss francs poorer.

Such losses in value are not put away also a multi-billionaire locker. Dangerous for Vekselberg, that he and companies he has a strong influence, will shunned by the business world: no one wants to risk of transactions in Dollars are excluded. This led to the fact that Sulzer had to buy.

Vekselbergs Empire includes dozens of investments around the world. Outside Russia, the Oligarch have reduced a lot of investments on a scale that make the United States a low profile – or completely sold, some "symbolic price", says a Familiar Vekselbergs, what was the reason for the fall in the Value of its assets.

His existence is the refusal of Western banks to provide him with loans at risk. UBS, Credit Suisse (CS), Deutsche Bank and ING triggered in the spring by a withdrawal movement, as they insisted on the repayment of any outstanding borrowings. Within weeks Vekselberg had to find new donors. A loan of 720 million francs in the Russian Promsvyazbank, acquired a Tranche of 350 million awarded by the Russian Sberbank.

Vekselberg wool from UBS, CS and Julius Baer CHF 200 million in damages, reported the Sunday newspaper in September. Has not sued it yet. There is no new development, means it is one of the big banks. A lawsuit would be understandable: Russian banks charge 15 percent interest, where he paid down from 5 percent.

dependence on Putin and the high interest rates weigh on him

The Oligarch didn't have to tackle the Russian state for help to refinance a loan of 982 million dollars, he had secured the participation of 26.5 per cent of the Russian aluminium group Rusal, which is also subject to sanctions. The almost a billion float, which Reportedly to interest at the rate of 11 per cent in the year. In addition, Vekselberg has asked the state, according to the Russian media to support the refinancing of loans and bonds to Renova-daughters of up to 4.7 billion dollars, plus subsidized interest rates and state guarantees.

it is Unclear whether an age credit of Sberbank of 1.1 billion dollars from the year 2016 for the period up to 2019 is still open. Vekselbergs office in Moscow does not comment on the advice of lawyers to questions financial. That Vekselberg wants to as quickly as possible from the sanctions corset out of it, is understandable. Because of the high Russian interest rates and the dependence of the Putin-affiliated banks are strangling the air out of him.

(Sunday newspaper)

Created: 08.12.2018, 21:16 PM

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