Thursday, 3 July 2008

Fund launched to track oligarch assets

Wealth Bulletin

July 1 2008 - By Jason Corcoran

Ukrainian investment firm Concorde Asset Management is aiming to attract $120m to a new fund investing only in companies controlled by oligarchs who wield significant influence on local business and politics.

The Olihagarch or "Oliharkh" fund, will buy shares of large financial and industrial groups owned by wealthy Ukrainian businessmen who have growing influence in the country's political sphere.

The fund will track the market value of publicly traded assets falling within the scope of Ukrainian financial-industrial groups, which are owned by a few of the country's seriously rich.

The idea could be a winner. In the late 1990s, Russian oligarch companies significantly outperformed the indices. However, following the election of Vladimir Putin as president in 2000 this trend ended when many oligarchs fled the country and were jailed.

Ukraine's oligarchs are in a better position than their Russian forebears: while Russia's oligarchs were close to government, many of their Ukrainian counterparts are actually in government.

Local billionaire Rinat Akhmetov was in 127th place in the Forbes ranking of the richest people on the planet. And according to the ratings of the Polish magazine Wprost, three Ukrainian billionaires are among the 20 richest people in Eastern Europe.

Concorde is a subsidiary of Concorde Capital, one of the two leading domestic brokers operating in Ukraine.

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