Russia’s family business

Reuters reports on the rewards Kirill Shamalov gained after marrying Vladimir Putin’s daughter, Katerina, in February, 2013: Within 18 months, Kirill acquired a large chunk of shares in a major Russian oil and petrochemical processor called Sibur – a stake now worth an estimated $2.85 billion, based on the value of recent share deals. He also quit his job as a business manager and set up a company to run his personal investments.

How did such a young businessman go so far, so fast? A Reuters examination of Shamalov’s career shows that in the summer of 2013, months after he married Putin’s daughter, Kirill opened discussions about buying shares in Sibur from one of the president’s wealthiest friends.

A year later, he was able to borrow more than $1 billion, judging by the published accounts of his investment company. The loan came from a bank headed by another longtime associate of Putin, and where Shamalov’s brother holds a senior position. The money was used to make an investment in Sibur that within months proved highly profitable for Kirill.

Asked about his business deals and the wedding, Kirill Shamalov and Sibur declined to comment.

The trajectory of Kirill’s fortunes sheds new light on how people close to Putin have taken commanding positions in key companies – and how such opportunities are now being extended to a new generation. [Continue reading…]

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