Russian gas giant Gazprom can lose its largest private importer of Russian gas to Turkey, Akfel Holding, which was de facto nationalized, reports Kommersant daily on Tuesday citing its sources.
Earlier in Dec., Turkish authorities decided to take the company under the state control and removed the board of directors, with Gazprom’s status in the company becoming unclear.
“We have been simply deprived of the most effective and profitable gas seller in Turkey,” the source, familiar with the matter said, as quoted by the Kommersant newspaper.
According to the newspaper, Turkey’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) currently “performs the functions of the stakeholders.” The TMSF has unofficially informed Gazprom about it’s new functions, the paper reported.
The Turkey’s government control over commercial entities became possible after the adoption of a decree following the July’s coup attempt. It practically allowed Turkey to control private companies, allegedly linked or suspected on financing FETO (Fethullah Terrorist Organization), whom Ankara believes to be behind the coup attempt.
In case of Akfel, the founders, Murad and Fatih Baltaci, were the matter of the investigation, according to the newspaper.
The largest structures of Akfel Holding – Akfel Gas, Avrasia and Enerco – have contracts with Gazprom for 2.25 billion cubic meters, 500 million cubic meters, and 2.5 billion cubic meters respectively. A joint venture of Akfel and Gazprombank owns 60% stakes in Avrasia and Enerco. Gazprom has a minority stake in Akfel Holding.
Gazprom has an option for a 50% stake in Akfel Gas but has not closed the deal signed back in 2014 yet as it was not approved by the Turkish authorities.
Akfel and the affiliates account for 55% of Russian gas supplies to private Turkish importers and for 20% of the supplies to Turkey.
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