For several years now, dollar billionaire Vladimir Kim (the first on list of the richest and the third on the list of the most influential businessmen in the country according to the Forbes-Kazakhstan magazine) has been living in an information shadow.
We believe it has to do not only with the serious economic problems of the businesses he controls but also with the passing of his old benefactor, Akorda’s “puppet master” Vladimir Ni. The latter’s “successor”, Nurtay Abekayev, left the political Olympus last year having resigned from the position of the NBC chief to become a senator. This year, he has retired on a pension, absolutely and finally.
Because of this, Vladimir Kim has been left “unattended” which, of course, must worry both him and Akorda since having a person acting as an intermediary between the authorities and the richest businessman in the country is vitally important for both parties. Moreover, in some complicated situations, this person often becomes the crucial figure because he is responsible not only for the quality of the communication channel but for the quality of the rendered decisions as well.
Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that this position is being coveted by many Nursultan Nazarbayev’s allies. According to our inside sources, the most active one is Nurlan Nigmatullin, the current speaker of the Lower House of Parliament.
The problem, however, is that, while Head of Nazarbayev Administration, Nigmatulin played the key role in worsening the relationship between the president and the two leading non-resource business-groups, the “Korean” one chaired by Vladimir Kim and the “Eurasian” one with Aleksander Mashkevich in charge. Then, due to the economic problems associated with declining nonferrous metals prices, the situation in the sector had become critical and Akorda insisted on restructuring the corporations to their owners’ disadvantage.
For this reason, our sources say, Vladimir Kim does not want Nurlan Nigmatulin to “coordinate” him. As for the latter, using the fact that his “go-to” person serves as Karaganda governor, he is trying to pressurize both Nazarbayev and Kim, a large shareholder of KAZ Minerals PLC ore mining company and the majority shareholder of the Kazakhmys Corporation.
One must keep in mind, however, that Kim’s concerns are being caused not only by Nigmatulin’s energetic (if not aggressive) manners but also by his desire to dominate the Karaganda region, in particular, through his co-father-in-law Dinmukhamet Idrisov (20th place on the Forbes-Kazakhstan list of the richest and 19th place on the list of the most influential businessmen).
According to our sources, Vladimir Kim’s current problems associated with RBK bank are partially caused by the pressure on the part of Nurlan Nigmatulin. Moreover, the relationship between these two Nazarbayev’s allies are so complicated that several top-managers of the Kazakhmys Corporation have already left Kazakhstan, and the others are planning to do so to avoid becoming the scapegoats.