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Russia’s Sistema holds questionable deals with own shares — press

October 06, 2014, 12:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Before oil company’s Bashneft shares were arrested, several top managers and board members of the AFK Sistema holding cut their stakes in the company, which can raise issues with the central bank
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Bobylev

MOSCOW, October 6 /TASS/. Shortly before oil company’s Bashneft shares were arrested, several top managers and board members of multi-industry holding AFK Sistema cut their stakes in the company, which can raise issues with the central bank, business daily Vedomosti reported Monday quoting Bashneft’s list of affiliates.

According to the list, Sistema’s President Mikhail Shamolin sold his 0.1561% stake in the company before July 9, while board members Sergei Boyev, Dmitry Zubov and David Yakobashvili decreased their stakes from 0.0140% to 0.0008%, from 1.0302% to 0.0103% and from 0.0043% to 0.0032% respectively, Vedomosti reported.

The reason for that move was a transfer of shares to broker accounts, and some of them may have been sold further, a Sistema source told the business daily.

Shamolin told Vedomosti he transferred his shares to MTS-Bank, and has almost a full stake on his hands, while Yakobashvili and Boyev said they conducted no operations with their shares, sold none of their stakes and will try to understand what is going on. Zubov could not be reached for comment.

On July 14, Sistema’s affiliate Sistema-Invest decreased its stake in Bashneft to 8.45% from 10.67% in a repo deal, which allows to receive an additional investment income, and this short-term deal envisages the shares being returned after a set period, a Sistema spokesperson told the business daily.

In September, the General Prosecutor’s Office filed a suit to the Moscow Arbitration Court to return Bashneft, owned by Sistema, to the government. The court will consider the suit on Thursday.

Also in September, a Moscow court rejected a request to release Sistema’s major shareholder Vladimir Yevtushenkov from house arrest, under which he was put on September 16 on accusations that he was involved in embezzlement during Bashneft privatization.

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