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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 15, 2005

15 August 2005
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

New Prosecutor Targets Bashkir Media Tycoon
Bashkortostan's acting prosecutor, Salavat Kerimov, authorized the search and confiscation of documents found in the office of the Eurasia nonprofit partnership headed by well-known Ufa businessman Albert Mukhamedyarov, "Kommersant-Daily" wrote on 13 August.

Mukhamedyarov is suspected of illegally obtaining control over the Real-M enterprise, and thereby taking possession of the licensee rights for Evropa Plus FM radio broadcasts.

Formerly an investigator in the federal prosecutor's office, Karimov became famous in Russia for investigating the cases of property owned by business tycoons such as Boris Berezovskii, Vladimir Gusinskii, and Mikhail Khodorkovskii.

Svyazinvest Takes Over Bashkirskii Kapital's Assets
After delaying its planned purchase of Svyazinvest company shares, the Sistema group of companies announced that it has taken over the majority share packages in seven companies belonging to the Bashkir petrochemical industry complex previously managed by the Bashkirskii Kapital company, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 13 August.

Bashkirskii Kapital, controlled by Bashkir President Rakhimov's son, Ural, reportedly agreed to hand over the shares for $502.9 million, while Sistema is reportedly ready to spend $100 million so that its stakes are high enough so that the company can control or block votes.

However, soon after the deal was announced the price of Sistema's own shares at the London Stock Exchange dropped by $0.9 each, thus decreasing the company's capitalization by $84 million, which is the reason why the Bashkir Prosecutor's Office is still questioning the privatization of the republic's petrochemical industries.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi