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6 June, 2013 11:00   ▪  

Financial Times: UkrTelecom`s acquisition raises fresh concerns about the concentration of Ukraine’s assets in one man’s hands

The acquisition of UkrTelecom from EPIC, an Austrian investment group, by Rinat Akhmetov raises fresh concerns about how much of the nation’s wealth is being concentrated in one man’s hands, writes Financial Times.

According to the earlier reports holding Akhmetov`s SCM of EPIC group on June 3 signed a deal to buy 100% of the Cyprus-based UA Telecominvest Limited that owns 100% of TOV ESU (Ukraine), the owner of 92.79% of PAT UkrTelecom, Ukraine’s monopoly landline telephone operator.

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“This acquisition is troubling in the sense that it underpins how too much of Ukraine’s assets are falling into too few hands, limiting competition,” said Alexander Valchyshen, head of research at Kiev-based investment bank Investment Capital Ukraine.

Referring to the growing dominance of Mr Akhmetov and a handful other influential oligarchs over Ukraine’s economy, Mr Valchyshen added: “Instead of investing into R&D…Ukraine’s top businessmen remain stuck in shuffling” around old Soviet industrial assets “from state-ownership into the private hands at hefty discounts”.

Pointing to the country’s deep economic challenges, Mr Valchyshen added: “This has led to no visible gain in productivity at the macro level.”

Source: Financial Times

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