Call her the Oprah Winfrey of Uzbekistan. (If Oprah Winfrey recorded banal Euro pop
and her father was the brutal dictator of a repressive Central Asian nation, that is.)
Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of Uzbek President Islam "Big Papa"
Karimov, is a rich woman who has her hands in lots of different projects and investments.
Seems like they're paying off.
The 37-year-old Harvard-educated Karimova has been included, for the first time, on a list of the top 10 richest women in Switzerland. (She's already been included on another list, "Foreign Policy's" list of the World's Worst Daughters
The Swiss magazine "Bilan" published a list on Wednesday of the 300 richest people in the country, with assets of at least 100 million Swiss francs, or about $95 million.
Karimova, who is Uzbekistan's representative to the UN
in Geneva, placed ninth on the women's list with estimated assets of $570 million to $665 million. No word on where that places her in Uzbekistan itself.
Swiss-based Uzbek journalist Alisher Taksanov tells RFE/RL's Uzbek Service that Karimova's estimated wealth is based on data from her official bank accounts. He says her real net worth may be much higher.
Among other sources, Taksanov said Karimova gets money from the Zeromax Group, which is involved in Uzbekistan's mining, gas, and oil industries.
Her assets also reportedly include bank and investments in Dubai and Geneva, as well as a retail complex, nightclubs, and a holiday resort in Uzbekistan. In March, she created a special jewelry collection for the renowned Swiss company Chopard. She also has her own fashion and interior design brand, Guli
Farkhod Inogombaev, Karimova's former financial adviser, tells RFE/RL that she is slowly establishing her name and position among Europe's financial elite.
Some believe Karimova's father is grooming her to succeed him as president
No word yet on the status of Gulnara's Book Club.
-- Grant Podelco