Two Of Russia's Billionaire Oligarchs Hold Their Steel Empire Through Cyprus

APTo understand how much skin Russia’s elites have in the Cyprus game, you have to check out oligarch holdings.

But these investments are complicated. Think: Cyprus based holding companies with international investments, Cayman Island based holding companies with Cypriot investments — the whole nine.

So we’ve tried to figure out the truly big fish. Two of them are Alexander Abramov and his better known partner, the 78th richest man in the world, Roman Abramovich.

Together they own Evraz, a giant international steel company that trades on London’s FTSE.

Abramov and Abramovich hold their stakes in Evraz through an investment vehicle called Lanebrook Limited, according to Evraz’s shareholder disclosures.

Lanebrook was incorporated in Cyprus in 2006.

Abramovic is well known for owning the biggest yacht in the world, the Eclipse (which was docked in NYC recently), as well as the U.K.’s Chelsea soccer team.

He also owns a Boeing 767, tons of precious art, Maybach limousines, a huge security detail and  homes in Aspen and the South of France.

If that’s not enough for you (it’s not for him, obviously) Abramovic is also converting 9 London apartments into one huge mansion. He’s hard to ignore.

Screenshot via Youtube/slolkovoschoolAbramovHowever, it’s Abramov (worth an estimated $4.6 billion) who was made a Cypriot citizen in 2010 for “the highest level of service to the Republic of Cyprus, and considering his business activities, naturalization is in the public interest.” according to Cyprus Mail.

It makes sense. Everaz has been making big investments in Cyprus (from CyprusMail):

In 2008 the company announced its acquisition of a 51.4 per cent stake in the Cyprus based company, Palmrose for USD $1.06 billion (€0.83 billion), and as of June 2010 Evraz held minority stakes in two Cypriot scrap metal companies , EKV Invest (9.6 per cent) and RVK Invest (42.6 per cent). Evraz also has a 50 per cent stake in Cyprus based Streamcore Limited, which had net assets of $62 million in September 2009.

Abramov went to Russia’s Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and was a scientist before he went into business. Funding for his research had dried up due to the Russian financial crisis in 1998, so he started buying up steel and coal companies on the cheap.

He’s also currently building the biggest house in New Zealand. The project has been kept under wraps but one of the country’s top real estate agents told the New Zealand Herald it could cost as much as $40 billion to build.

So these two gentlemen are likely a little bit concerned about Cyprus’ well-being — relatively.

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