[IWAR] RUSSIA tycoon to market

From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Sat Jan 10 1998 - 22:41:29 PST

  • Next message: Michael Wilson: "[IWAR] ECONOMIC CRISIS part one"

                     Russian tycoon seeks to reassure U.S. investors
          Copyright ) 1998 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1998 Reuters
       CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (January 10, 1998 11:31 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net)
       - Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky said on Saturday foreign investors
       were wrong to fear that his country could backslide in its transition
       from communism to a market economy.
       "I think that not only in America but in Europe and other countries ...
       there is no comprehension that the processes that took place in Russia
       are irreversible, and that is definitely a barrier to growth in Russia,"
       Berezovsky said through a translator at a conference at Harvard
       Arguably Russia's most powerful businessman and a former member of
       President Boris Yeltsin's Security Council, Berezovsky said the
       misunderstanding impeded foreign investment and led to higher risk
       On the other hand, he said, Russians are wrong to be be suspicious of
       foreign capital, fearing that it will leave the country at the first
       sign of market trouble and lead to instability.
       "In America you are not afraid when the Japanese buy half of Rockefeller
       Center," he said.
       But while the economic transition putting industries and properties in
       private hands is irreversible, the threat of a coup is very real in
       Russia, as it is in many countries, Berezovsky said.
       "Nobody can be safe from that," he added.
       Executives of Russian oil and gas companies told the conference their
       firms would have to attract billions of dollars from Western banks,
       securities markets and companies to upgrade pipelines and equipment.
       "YUKOS is absolutely interested in a strategic partnership with a
       foreign company," said Vasily Shakhnovsky, the chairman of YUKOS Oil,
       Russia's second-largest oil company.
       Shakhnovsky said YUKOS was in talks with Amoco Corp. of the United
       States and within the year would form a partnership with a foreign firm.
       Berezovsky went out of his way to disagree with billionaire financier
       George Soros, who criticized First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais
       on Friday at the conference.
       Soros said Chubais, who was popular in the West for his leading role in
       reforming the economy before he lost much of his power in a Cabinet
       shake-up in November, was "tainted" by scandal.
       Chubais raised eyebrows by accepting a $90,000 advance for a book from a
       publisher linked to a firm that was victorious in two controversial
       sales of big state companies last year.
       "That Chubais organized the theft of Russian property -- I think that
       that is wrong, and it is unjust," Berezovsky said, referring to the
       hostile interpretation of the deal. He said Chubais should be commended
       for his reforms, which had transferred state property to private hands
       without bloodshed.
       Berezovsky's defense of Chubais surprised some of the hundreds of people
       at the conference. Berezovsky's television and media empire vigorously
       attacked Chubais during the scandal, and he played a role in removing
       Russia's Finance Ministry from the reformer's control.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 12:59:50 PDT