Friday, November 21, 2014

When Will Poroshenko Sell His Chocolate Business? / Sputnik UK

President Poroshenko of Ukraine has told Bild magazine in Germany that he is still negotiating the sale of his business which he promised to sell when he ran for president last May.

Ukraine’s constitution bans state officials from owning a business.

A year ago Ukrainians flocked to the Maidan square in central Kiev in protest against corruption, the oligarchs and in support of European values.

In the process of a violent coup they swapped one oligarchic ruler for another and introduced a European first – a president-cum-banker. Europeans must be wondering if such a conflict of interest is indeed in line with their declared values.

During the presidential election in May 2014 Mr. Poroshenko promised to sell off his massive business empire that spans banking, confectionary, agriculture, energy, auto and shipbuilding, and mass media. However, the President is refusing to sell his major media asset Channel 5 TV claiming he can guarantee its editorial independence. In the country where media has traditionally been a political weapon this is easier said than done. And what is officially on sale out of the impressive list of other assets, at least for now, are chocolate factories, including two in Russia and a shipyard in Sevastopol, Crimea, which has a contract with the Russian Navy.

While the shipyard’s performance was affected by the process of re-registering it as a Russian company, the Russian chocolate factories netted Mr Poroshenko $70 million in revenue last year. Overall, his sweet empire is ranked 20th in the world by the Candy Industry publication with net sales of $1 billion in 2013. No wonder it’s painful to get rid of such a money spinner. Mr. Poroshenko explains that it is not easy to find a buyer at the time of economic and social turmoil in Ukraine. The estimated value of his business empire has almost halved from the $2.6 billion it stood at before the troubles started a year ago.

Complete story at - When Will Poroshenko Sell His Chocolate Business? / Sputnik UK

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