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    Bulat Utemuratov says that he has nothing to hide


    In his interview with Blomberg, Bulat Utemuratov, one of the most successful businessmen in Kazakhstan, said that he will readily reveal all details about his path to prosperity.


    In 1992, when Mr. Utemuratov was 34 years old, he was appointed as a general director of the first ever Kazakh trading company that conducted its activities in Austria. He had to act as an intermediary between the companies from Europe and Kazakhstan that traded in metal. At first, Mr. Utemutatov felt skeptical about this job, but then he realized that it presents an array of opportunities.
    The period of time that he spent in Austria had a significant impact on the young entrepreneur. Mr. Utemuratov felt that he has enough knowledge and capabilities for building a real business empire in Kazakhstan. He successfully combined two lines of work: the first as the government official (in 1994, he was appointed the first deputy minister for trade and manufacturing industry of Kazakhstan) and the second as the striving businessman (in 1995, he founded the Almaty Trade & Finance Bank that was re-named to AFT Bank three years later). He was also actively involved in trading zinc and copper with foreign companies.     

    Currently, Bulat Utemuratov is one of the wealthiest people in all of Central Asia. His overall net worth is estimated at $3,4 billion.

    Mr. Utemuratov also made a spectacular political career. Over the course of fifteen years, he held different important posts in the administration of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He claims that despite his close ties with the most influential person in the country, he never used them to gain the advantage over his business rivals. Bulat Utemuratov reckons that it contradicts not only the universally accepted standards of business conduct but also his personal ethics.  

    In 2007, after he sold AFT Bank to UniCredit, the banking group from Switzerland, Mr. Utemuratov decided to make his business more transparent and stopped using any offshore accounts.

    In 2012, he struck a major deal with Glencore Plc, a globally known trading company from Switzerland, when he sold 18.9% of his shares in KazZinc in exchange for 2.5% of shares in the Swiss company. Over the course of the same year, he also acquired Alliance Bank and Temir Bank.

    Currently, Bulat Utemuratov is focused on developing his construction and mining businesses. Just recently, he presented his development project called Twin Towers, the luxurious multi-purpose complex in Astana.

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