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August 6, 2013 6:30 pm
Kazakhstan Kagazy, the London-listed paper producer, has succeeded in securing a worldwide order to freeze the assets of two of its former directors after the company alleged that $150m was misappropriated.
On Tuesday, the company said in a statement that the freezing order had been obtained in relation to assets of Baglan Zhunus, the former chairman of the company, and Maksat Arip, its former chief executive, “to recover misappropriated funds”.
The move may add to concerns that some overseas companies listed in London are failing to live up to UK corporate governance standards intended to protect minority shareholders.
“Forensic analysis by the board and their appointed advisers has discovered that a sum of approximately $150m was extracted from the company and channelled into separate businesses outside of the Kazakhstan Kagazy Group,” the company said in a regulatory statement. It added that the freezing order “signals the importance of defending the reputation of Kazakhstan”.
Mr Arip is the founder shareholder and former chairman of London-listed Russian oil producer Exillon Energy, and recently said he might bid to buy back Exillon’s 70 per cent free float.
Exillon declined to comment. Mr Zhunus said the allegations were untrue and “sad”, while Mr Arip could not be reached for comment.
Last year, Exillon was fined £293,000 by the UK financial regulator for failing to disclose an arrangement whereby it paid expenses for Mr Arip, including private travel and children’s tuition, and then netted them off his salary. Mr Arip was not accused of wrongdoing by the watchdog.
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