In the assets of the diamond businesswoman Lyudmila Nikolaeva – in addition to her husband – the head of Yakutia, there are unclear cases with Almazergienbank and firms with signs of fictitiousness.
According to the correspondent The Moscow Post in Yakutia, the Almazy Arktiki (Almar) company, owned by the wife of the head of the republic, Lyudmila Nikolaeva, intends to place 15% of its shares on the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange soon. Thus, the businesswoman, apparently, expects to take advantage of the shortage of diamond supply, and at the same time replenish the already rather big family budget.
At this time, her husband Aisen Nikolaev is trying to cope with a wave of problems in the region, and at the same time explain to ordinary voters how it happened that the wife of the head of the country’s diamond region controls one of the largest diamond mining enterprises?..
Of course, all Almar reserves are still in the exploration stage, their production can only begin in 2024. But there are already enough people who want to contract.
Recall that the structure was created in 2015 by Oleg Deripaska, who came from ALROSA, so they often try to associate Almar with his name.
Nikolaeva herself, with a share of 32.3%, is the main, but not the only shareholder. Another 40% is owned by other Almar managers, then about 4.7% by Derzhava Bank, 6.6% by ITI Capital, 8% by Polarctic Capital, 7.6% by IFC Solid.
Formally, Nikolaeva has owned shares in the structure since 2020. But in fact, she began investing in this business back in 2016. The business outlook is clear: the fields the company holds a license to hold diamonds worth a billion dollars, which will allow Almar to enter the top 20 largest diamond miners in the world.
That is, Ms. Nikolaeva, since the mid-1990s, had the resources to enter such a highly profitable and marginal business. To clarify: under her current wife, the head of the Republic, this is far from the only business of the first lady of the region.
Business is a family business
Lyudmila Nikolaeva has been in business since 2004, when she received shares in several companies at once: Yakutsnab, Tabaginskaya Sawmill Company and the pharmaceutical products seller Advanced Medical Technologies.
Until 2016, Lyudmila Nikolaeva was a co-owner of Stroitelny Rynok LLC and Stroitelny Trading House LLC. The co-owners of these companies are also Nikolai and Milena Krylov, Lena Danilova, Alena Pestryakova.
In February 2021, Nikolaeva transferred shares in these companies to her eldest daughter Anna. LLC “Construction Market” received in 2019 revenue of 41.9 million rubles, TD “Construction Market” – 30.4 million rubles. Anna also heads the Green City healthy food restaurant in Yakutsk.
Today Anna Aisenovna Nikolaeva is a co-founder of six companies at once (five of them are operating). Some of them have government contracts. But much more interesting, for example, is the very Construction Market LLC. The company is engaged in the rental and management of own or leased non-residential real estate. And at the same time, assets worth as much as 180 million rubles with 10 thousand rubles of authorized capital.
This company had revenue for 2020 in the amount of 45 million rubles, as well as a loss of 13 million rubles. What is even more interesting – the company’s losses are growing from year to year, while the value of assets is regularly increasing. Is it time to pay attention to the tax authorities?..
It seems that the daughter of the Nikolaevs manages a significant part of the family business empire. But her mother, Lyudmila Nikolaeva, apparently long ago dreamed of dealing only with diamonds.
Since 2005, she has worked at Almazergienbank, an authorized agent of the government of the Republic of Sakha for servicing investments in the extractive industries. Could the rise of her husband’s political career be indirectly related to this?.. An interesting question …
It should be noted that even now Almar’s activities can be called transparent with a big stretch. Previously, Nikolaeva claimed to be the owner of the Arctic Mining Company (AGK), and Almazy Arktiki was just a brand. Now the situation is different: AGK LLC is already a subsidiary of Almar JSC, in which, with 10 thousand rubles of authorized capital, there are no employees (judging by the data in Rusprofile). For 2020, the company has zero revenue, a loss of 17 million rubles and an asset value of minus 63 million rubles.
One gets the impression that money could simply be withdrawn from the company. What are the investments for then, and how will Mrs. Nikolaeva explain this budget “hole” in the subsidiary structure to St. Petersburg investors?
Almar itself was registered only in 2021, but today its reliability evaluatedas “low”.
Maybe Almar is being put up for IPO instead of Arctic Mining Company, because it doesn’t have such shocking “minuses” in its statistics? But if you look at the page of Almar himself, then it is AGK that is listed as the founder with a share of 80%. It turns out that the structures cross-own each other? Although earlier Nikolaeva and partners were precisely among the founders of AGK.
“Diamond” bank near the Nikolaevs
Investors (and not only them) may become interested in Nikolaeva’s activities while working at Almazergienbank, an authorized agent of the government of Yakutia for servicing investments in the extractive industries.
The same bank services the Nizhne-Lenskoye diamond mining JSC, controlled by Deripaska’s ALROSA.
In 2010, Nikolaeva became the head of the corporate business department, deputy chairman of the board of Almazergienbank, from 2010 to 2014 she worked as first deputy chairman of the board, and in 2014 she was appointed chairman of the bank’s board. Only in 2018, she left the board, remaining an adviser to the management. And even then, it seems, only because Nikolaev was elected head of the region.
Who will believe that it does not influence the policy of “Almazergienbank” today? And who will believe that Aisen Nikolaev did not help his wife and her company already when he was the mayor of Yakutsk?
If someone begins to suspect that the bank, 97% owned by the Ministry of Property and Land Relations of Yakutia, may well turn out to be the “purse” of the Yakut elite (and the Nikolaevs in the first place), then there are good reasons for this.
Previously, the bank had many individuals and legal entities listed as founders, among which was Nikolaev Boris Anufrievich – quite possibly another representative of an influential family. But for some reason, after Nikolaeva left the bank and bought shares in the diamond business in 2020, all these persons, including Boris Nikolaev, were urgently removed from the founders. Looks suspicious.
Today, something very strange is happening in the bank, whose management adviser is Lyudmila Nikolaeva. And this is also a signal to investors. In just one month (from December 2021 to January 2022), the bank lost almost 15% of its profit – this is over 47 million rubles “net”. And this is despite the growth of assets by 2 billion rubles!..
At the same time, important indicators turned out to be in the red zone: return on assets-net, return on equity, the level of overdue debt and the level of provisioning for the loan portfolio. Two of the three key credit ratios are in the green zone, but one more – namely H2 – is in the deepest red (-43.27%).
But it’s only one month, you say. In fact, this trend has been going on for many months now. If we take the same indicators not for a month, but, say, from the beginning of last autumn, it turns out that the outflow of profit for this period was even higher than for December-January – minus 21.78% (or almost 75 million rubles). Where did the money go? Is it not for Nikolaeva’s diamond business in order to “cheat” it before the placement?..
In addition, there are rumors that Aisen Nikolaev can personally issue instructions to Almazergienbank, to whom and how to issue loans. Earlier, our editorial office was contacted by readers who complained about the actions of the bank. A story I wrote about not so long ago The Moscow Posthappened in 2018. At that time “Days of the Far East” were held in Moscow.
The event was held by the company “Yakutskaya Yarmarka”, whose management, according to our readers, was forced to take a 30 million loan secured by property in Almazergienbank. As a result, the bank went to court demanding the return of the money.
The result is the bankruptcy of the structure. The beneficiaries of JSC “Yakutskaya Yarmarka” Mikhail Fedorov and Nikolai Mukhin had to pay more than 29 million rubles.
In addition, Fedorov was accused of giving a bribe to the Minister of Property Relations of Yakutia, Irina Vysokikh, appointed under Aisen Nikolaev. Wrote about it TASS.
However, in the business community, they were inclined to perceive this rather as a method of putting pressure on debtors due to the presence of debt due to an allegedly imposed loan. The story as a whole is very muddy, but one thing is clear: it is unlikely that Mrs. Vysokikh would have refused to speak if chief Aisen Nikolaev had asked her to give the necessary evidence against Fedorov.
Constant inconsistencies, lost profits, losses with a huge increase in the value of assets. And with such “baggage” and her husband behind her back, Mrs. Nikolaeva plans to enter the St. Petersburg IPO …
But it is still impossible not to recall the results of her husband’s work as head of Yakutia, which can hardly be called satisfactory. Perhaps, these circumstances should also alert investors. With such a background, the partners of the Nikolaevs can have serious problems both in business and in politics.