Ukraine getting poorer, Poroshenko getting richer / News / News agency Inforos
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Ukraine getting poorer, Poroshenko getting richer

Covert and declared assets of Ukraine's president

19.03.2019 13:50 Vladimir Blinkov, Center of Special Mediametrics Studies

Ukraine getting poorer, Poroshenko getting richer
Context:

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is a rich man. According to Forbes, he ranks 11th wealthiest person in Ukraine running assets worth $542 million. Today, his assets include 46 companies, the vast majority of which operate in the confectionary and agricultural spheres. He hasn't lost but multiplied his assets during his tenure as Ukraine's president manifesting himself as quite a successful businessman.

His confectionary network, Roshen, has been developing most actively in recent years. A major part of Roshen stores opened in 2014 after Poroshenko won the presidential election, 14 new stores were opened in Kyiv and Kharkiv starting from June. New stores in foreign countries appeared in the president's income statement as well: Deluxe Sauda (Kazakhstan), Grand Confectioner (Kazakhstan), Roshen-Bel (Belarus) and Roshen-Georgia (Georgia).

As for the agriculture sphere that gained the most from his Euro-integration policies, Poroshenko runs 20 companies, including one of Ukraine's largest agriculture enterprises, Ukrprominvest-Agro.

His assets include 4 TV and radio companies, a shipyard, and a communication company. Moreover, the Ukrainian president is the principal owner of the International Investment Bank and the Krayina insurance company.

The Ukrainian News agency reported referring to the Unified Income Statements Register that Poroshenko's declared income in 2018 grew 82-fold amounting to about 3.3 billion rubles compared to 40.9 million rubles in 2017. He got a major part of the sum, about 2.76 billion rubles, from Rothschild Trust that manages his share in the Roshen confectionary corporation. Another 453.7 million rubles came from the Prime Assets Capital company as dividends.

Just as all Ukrainian oligarchs, Poroshenko has considerable "secret" assets, which are the assets that aren't directly owned by him but which are registered by companies in which he is a beneficial owner. Under Ukraine's anti-corruption law, he is not obliged to report on such assets in his income statements, as neither he, nor his family owns them directly.

There is no information about the exact number of offshore companies related to the Ukrainian president, but Ukrainian journalists exposed at least 13 such companies estimating them at $1 billion.

According to the investigation conducted by Ukrainian Papers journalists, Spain's Marbella province is one of the centers of Poroshenko's offshore businesses. A cluster of 6 companies in which either he or his business associates Kononenko and Hladkovsky are the beneficial owners is registered there. They are Pesoto Coast Sl, Lopart Coast Sl, Dekamin Blue Big Sl, Bildenberg Consulting Financiero Sl, Lankashire Big Sl and Cremel System Sl. The majority of them are run by Iryna Petrovskaya, who media call Ukrainian "Spanish." Almost all these companies in turn are affiliates of companies registered mainly in offshore zones, primarily Gibraltar.

Real estate of Poroshenko and his business partners in Spain is registered to these companies. For example, Pesoto Coast Sl owns a duplex, a townhouse for no more than 2 families, in a cottage town in the municipality of Estepona. Lopart Coast Sl is the owner of a residential facility located nearby. Dekamin Blue Big Sl owns a one-family house and 2 apartments in the village of Bahia de Marbella. Lankashire Big Sl owns a 0.3-hectare land plot in the cottage town of Cerca de los Monteros. Toulousse Investments Sl owns houses (884 square meters) and a land plot of almost 1 hectare worth 3 million euros.

A "pearl" in this Poroshenko's "collection" is an estate of 0.26 hectares on the Mediterranean shore in the town of Atalaya Isdabe, the municipality of Estepona, southern Spain that is owned by Feruvita Sl. There is a two-floor Mediterranean-style villa of 1,254 square meters and a pool. This estate is worth about 4 million euros, or 120 million hryvni. Feruvita Sl took a 2.5-million-euro loan from the Spanish branch of Deutsche Bank in June 2008 and another loan worth 119,000 euros in June 2011. The guarantor of both loans was personally Petro Poroshenko. Noteworthy, that in both cases he used Ukrainian passports with different numbers.

Another important offshore cluster is Cyprus, where a number of companies that own assets of the Ukrainian president, in particular in Russia, are registered. The Cypriot-based Chartomena Limite is one of the key companies in the "shadow" empire of Petro Poroshenko and his partners. This company provides loans worth dozens of millions of dollars to Poroshenko's Ukrainian companies, it purchases unpaid debts of Poroshenko and his friends from state-run banks. It is the key company is the scheme to minimize tax payments and withdraw money from Ukraine. Cypriot citizen Andri Atanisiu is the company's director.

He also is the director of another company that is believed to have links to Poroshenko, HUDC Holding Limited, which is a famous supplier of defense hardware to Ukraine. It is run by Poroshenko's friend and partner Oleh Svinarchuk-Hladkovsky. Moreover, Atanisiu, as Ukrainian journalists believe, is the director of at least a dozen offshore companies related to Poroshenko and his team.

Chartomena Limite is owned by UK-based Morewig Limited, whose beneficial owner is Poroshenko's lifetime friend and partner, Sergei Zaitsev, who is a minority shareholder in the TsEKK company and Roshen deputy general director.

According to Ukrainian journalists, Poroshenko still owns a number of assets in Russia, in particular a Roshen plant in Lipetsk. Asked why he is still registered as the plant's owner, Poroshenko said that the Russian authorities had seized the plant's property thus it couldn't be sold. However, the property of the Roshen plant in Lipetsk was seized for tax arrears on April 24, 2015, one year after Donbas hostilities began. And Poroshenko had neither sold nor stopped the activities at the plant over that period of time. It had successfully produced waffles and sweets called Mad Bee for almost two more years, until April 1, 2017.

In addition to the Lipetsk plant, Poroshenko has at least two small businesses in Russia, the Luckygrain company and the Krakhmaloprodukty plant. Krakhmaloprodukty produces flour and starch, and according to open-source data it earned slightly less than $700,000 in 2015. It is registered at the same address in Lipetsk as the Roshen company, 12, Novatorov street. In turn, Krakhmaloprodukty is the founder of Luckygrain, which is growing grain in the Lipetsk region.

It is worth noting that until 2014 Krakhmaloprodukty had officially been owned by Ukrprominvest-Agro, whose beneficial owner is Petro Poroshenko through Prime Asset Capital. Later, following the example of his business partner Hladkovsky, he sold his Russian businesses to his own offshore companies but still providing loans to them thus investing into "hateful Russia."

According to the Ukrainian Papers website, in addition to multiple offshore companies Poroshenko uses a Porsche car, a MIKA Maestro 65 yacht and a Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign business jet that are registered by Austria-based JB Park owned by the Cypriot-based Euro Business Investments offshore company. Its owner is Sergei Zaitsev, the CEO at Roshen, which is still owned by Petro Poroshenko.

In general, Poroshenko has asserted himself as a careful owner of a business empire, who flexibly adjusts it to new conditions. After he took the office of Ukrainian president, his "offshore empire" was restructured, probably to become more effective. In particular, three new offshore companies to restructure Roshen assets were set up. However, Ukraine has remained the most corrupted country in Europe and the poorest in the post-Soviet space.

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