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Superyacht linked to sanctioned Russian is up for sale for €29.5m – Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: MySky yacht attached to Russia’s Igor Kisaev in the Indian Ocean waters near Male, Maldives, March 4, 2022. REUTERS/Dahau Naseem/File Photo

Written by Chris Kirkham

(Reuters) – A luxury yacht broker in the United States has announced the sale of a 168-foot (51-meter) superyacht linked to Russian billionaire Igor Kiseev for 29.5 million euros (about $29 million), according to an email seen by Reuters.

The proposed sale of the MySky yacht, which was revealed in an announcement emailed from the brokerage to undisclosed recipients on September 14, comes amid concerns from Western governments and activists that billionaires like Kessev have managed to weather a patchwork of international sanctions. Target their luxury assets such as yachts.

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The European Union and the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on Kisev in April in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the European Union citing his involvement in the production of military weapons and the distribution of tobacco in Russia, as well as his links to the Russian government and its “security forces”. The US has not imposed sanctions on Kisev, and the US Treasury did not respond to requests for comment.

Sarah Gianola, a spokeswoman for Heesen Yachts, the Netherlands-based company that built MySky, confirmed that Kesaev had commissioned her and another yacht called the Sky.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm that Kesaev still has direct ownership in MySky.

An article about Kesaev’s daughter and her art exhibition in the Spring 2021 edition of Heesen magazine noted that “the Kesaev family is well known to Heesen, having commissioned Sky and MySky for the past decade.”

A spokesperson for Kesaev declined to answer questions about the yacht’s ownership or imminent sale.

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The ad, seen by Reuters, was sent from an email address at Merle Wood & Associates in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which calls itself “one of the leading yacht brokers worldwide.” It was privately circulated with a warning not to make the announcement public. Reuters was unable to identify the beneficiaries.

The yacht called MySky features “ultra-modern and sophisticated interiors” by a well-known Dutch architect, a “climate-controlled indoor gym” and a deck that can be used to land helicopters, according to the announcement.

Merle A. Wood, listed as a point of contact in the MySky ad, told Reuters by phone that he knew nothing of the yacht’s owner and directed Reuters to a different broker, Burgess, whom he described as the lead broker in the proposed sale. . Wood referred all questions to Burgess, which has offices in London, Monaco and other major markets.

Burgess spokeswoman Nixi Perides said in a WhatsApp message that she “could not answer questions about the yacht” and referred questions to Wood, who did not respond to additional requests for comment.

Because there are no US sanctions on Kisev, US companies or buyers can participate in the sale of the yacht without being sanctioned, said Clara Portela, a sanctions expert at the University of Valencia.

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A Reuters examination of Burgess on Wednesday found MySky is listed as available for rental bookings. As of Thursday, Burgess has removed his MySky rental listing after being inquired by Reuters.

Merle Wood’s advertisement stated that the yacht was in the Maldives. Reuters photographed the ship in waters off the Indian Ocean Republic in early March, in the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Yachts linked to sanctioned Russians have appeared in destinations such as the Maldives and Turkey in recent months as authorities in the US, EU and UK have imposed sanctions and sought to confiscate these assets. Authorities in the Maldives did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for the European Commission, which deals with EU sanctions, said European leaders were encouraging other countries to align their policies with the EU, but said the sanctions only apply within the EU’s jurisdiction.

A UK Treasury spokesman said it does not comment on individual cases but “takes enforcement action in every reported case to breach suspected financial sanctions”.

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Roland Pape, who tracks illicit financial flows at Transparency International in the European Union, said the often clandestine nature of sales involving mega yachts meant that such transactions were unlikely to ever be known to authorities.

“It is very easy to try to avoid sanctions in this way,” he said.

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.