On Kayrat Satybaldy and Kazakhtelecom

On February 17, 2021, Radio Azattyk gave a generous «gift» to Nursultan Nazarbayev and his clan by telling who the real co-owner of Kazakhtelecom NC is. So, now the whole world including the Kazakh citizens knows about it. We would like to add some details to the matter.

Those disliking the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the «Leader of the Nation» should be pleased that Radio Azattyk had devoted a good two materials to this sensitive topic — a video (see below the text of this article) and a publication titled «Nazarbayev’s Nephew Named as the Founder of the Offshore — Kazakhtelecom’s Owner». 

Let us present several quotes from the publication that may help us answer the question of who owns Kazakhstan and abuses their high standing (text in bold by KZ.expert).

«As follows from the documents kept in the Luxembourg registry LRB, Kazakh citizen Kayrat Satybaldy is the sole founder of the Skyline Investment Сompany S.A. offshore firm that owns more than 24% of the Kazakhtelecom telecommunication company. The first name, the surname and the date of birth of the founder are in complete accord with the personal data of the nephew of Kazakhstan’s former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Kazakhtelecom (the dominant company on the Kazakh telecommunication market) had stated earlier that the Luxembourg firm was indeed one of its co-owners albeit it did not disclose the names of the end beneficiaries. The information on Kayrat Satybaldy has become available thanks to Luxembourg publishing the data on the owners of the companies registered in this European state.

For a number of years, Luxembourg had been keeping the information on the offshore companies registered in this country confidential. However, three years ago, as part of the fight against money laundering, the EU obligated the state to disclose the data. 

The information about the capital, the profits and the losses of the offshore company is presented in Kazakhstan’s national currency — tenge. According to the 2018 financial report, the total assets of Skyline Investment Company S.A. surpassed 87 bln tenge (about 266 $ mln against the exchange rate of the time), the company’s losses constituted 21 mln tenge.

The 25% portfolio of Kazakhtelecom’s shares ended up in the hands of the Luxembourg company in 2018 following the transfer of the securities by Alexander Klebanov’s company (Alexander Klebanov is one of Kazakhstan’s richest businessmen). The transaction had been approved by the government that, at the time, was chaired by Bakytzhan Sagintayev. The terms of the transaction are unknown». 

Several years ago, we already published some materials on Kazakhtelecom NC and the mysteries surrounding its shareholders. Here are some of the articles -

«Why It Wasn’t Possible to Get Rid of Esikeyev»,

«Offshore Risks and Klebanov Problem»,

«Affair of Kazakhtelecom»,

«Kazakhtelecom: The Back-Door Action». 

Back then, when any confirmed data was unavailable, we assumed that Alexander Klebanov who was acting as the «frontman» for Dariga Nazarbayeva (Nursultan Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter currently serving as a Mazhilis deputy) was also lined to Skyline Investment.

This is how our view is presented in the publication «Affair of Kazakhtelecom» -

«The deal on carving out a large stock of Kazakhtelecom’s shares serves close attention not only on the part of the experts but all the Kazakhstan citizens. Especially since the name of the person who is now in control of the national communication service provider is not yet publicly known. 

On August 28, 2018, Kazakhstan’s Prime-Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev signed Governmental Decree 534 «On the Disposal of a Strategic Asset»

The document is short, so we will quote it in its entirety.

«In accordance with Article 193-1 of the Kazakhstan Civil Code (General Part) dated December 27, 1994, the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan hereby decrees:

1.To allow company SOBRIO LIMITED to complete the transaction on carving out 2 672 592 ordinary shares of Kazakhtelecom JSC which equals 24,96% of the total number of the ordinary shares of Kazakhtelecom JSC for the benefit of SKYLINE INVESTMENT COMPANY S.A.

2. The present Decree is to be put into action from the day on which it is signed».

«It is not yet clear who the beneficial owner of Skyline Investment Company S.A. is; we do not know whether it is Alexander Klebanov or an entirely different person. If it is the former, the transfer of 24,96% of Kazakhtelecom’s ordinary shares from one offshore company to another is just a technicality. However, the question arises — what’s in it for Alexander Klebanov or, in other words, Dariga Nazarbayeva, the President’s eldest daughter and the Senate Deputy, whose interests Klebanov represents?

If it is the latter, we are curious as to who has become a major shareholder of Kazakhtelecom with the approval of the Government? It may be a person or persons to whom Mr. Klebanov has sold, given or perhaps simply returned the shares of Kazakhstan’s national communication service provider. The only thing we do know is that Skyline Investment Company S.A. is a typical offshore company registered in Luxemburg in May 2018 with the capital stock of 30 thousand euro and the staff of one to ten employees». 

And now, after two and a half years, the Kazakh citizens and the entire world have learned that a quarter (!) of the national telecommunication operator belongs to Nursultan Nazarbayev’s nephew Kayrat Satybaldyuly (Satybaldy).

On one hand, this should not be surprising since all of the country’s more or less valuable assets belong to the members of the Nazarbayev family or to the «Leader of the Nation’s» closest allies. On the other hand, however, the secrecy surrounding the transactions related to these assets cannot but alarm the public.

It looks like its own «game of thrones» is now taking place within the Nazarbayev clan. And the redistribution of what, during the Soviet times, used to be called «the people’s property» is conducted according to the results of this game.

For instance, following the mysterious privatisation of Kazakhtelecom, the aforementioned portfolio of the company’s shares ended up in the hands of the owners of Kazkommertsbank (already non-existent). Then, the shares were transferred to Aygul Nuriyeva who was acting as the «front person» for Karim Masimov currently serving as the Chief of the NSC. Then, these shares became the property of Alexander Klebanov and his «shield» Dariga Nazarbayeva. And now we learn that, starting from August 2018, another Elbasy’s relative, his nephew Kayrat Satybaldy owns the portfolio.

To be sure, this is not a complete picture of the matter.

In view of this, all that is left to do is hope that, in a year or two, more data on the offshores and their owners will be revealed and we will learn who, in fact, owns and rules the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Add to this a confirmed information on who owns and controls the country’s land, and we will be able to name all of the «lords and masters» of Kazakhstan.


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