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Dutch Court Unfreezes $22 bln Assets of Kazakh National Fund

Wednesday 24 January 2018

ASTANA (KazInform) — Amsterdam District Court has lifted yesterday a freeze on $22 bln in assets held by the National Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan at Bank of New York Mellon, Kazinform reported from the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan.

Bank of New York Mellon acts as the custodian of the fund’s assets. The Ministry said in a statement that the court had agreed with the National Bank and the Justice Ministry’s side of the story and ruled the assets should not have been frozen. The court had already upheld the decision to freeze $5.2 bln assets based on another lawsuit filed by Moldovan businessman Anatolie Stati.

Anatolie Stati

Stati, his son Gabriel and their companies were investors in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas industry. They say they have been subjected to harassment from the state aimed at forcing them to sell their investments cheaply.

Kazakhstan denies the allegations, but Anatolie and Gabriel Stati and two of their companies — Ascom Group S.A. and Terra Raf Trans Traiding Ltd, have won an international arbitration award of around $500 mln against the government. Kazakhstan has refused to pay, accusing Stati of using fraudulent means to secure a favourable arbitration ruling and filing lawsuits against him.

The court also ruled Stati should pay Kazakhstan’s legal fees. The Ministry also claimed that it is seeking the reversal of a ruling of the Belgian court on the freeze of some Kazakh assets.

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