VIENNA, March 30. /TASS/. US billionaire financier George Soros said in an interview with Austrian newspaper Der Standard on Monday he is ready to invest some $1 billion in the Ukrainian economy.
The 85-year-old Hungarian-born American business magnate, who has made fortune on the stock exchange, said he would pour funds if Western countries helped Ukraine improve its investment climate.
"The West can help Ukraine by increasing its attractiveness in the eyes of investors. A political risk insurance is necessary," Soros said. "I’m ready. There are certain investment ideas, for example in agriculture and infrastructure projects. I would invest $1 billion," he added.
Soros, who owns a number of investment funds, made more than $1 billion by betting on the devaluation of the pound sterling in 1992. London later called this operation "a plot of Soros against the pound sterling."
The financial trader has amassed a great amount of wealth through various financial speculations and in particular getting "inside information."
Soros’s hedge fund was involved in a $4 billion bet that the Thai baht currency would fall sharply in 1997. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad then accused Soros of masterminding a currency crisis in the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
During the August 1998 crisis in Russia, Soros made a public call for the ruble devaluation.
In 2002, a Paris court ordered Soros to pay a €2.2 million fine convicting the financier of insider trading that had allowed him to make money out of speculations with shares of French bank Societe Generale.
Soros-affiliated organizations are operating in around 30 countries, including Ukraine. In 1997, the Soros Foundation was expelled from Belarus. In 2003, Soros scaled down his activity in Russia.