Mynbayev, recorded as a “politically exposed person” in Appleby’s client database, has been a shareholder in Meridian Capital Ltd. since its incorporation in Bermuda in 2002. The latest information in Appleby’s records is from 2014. The company is partly owned by Kazakhstan business tycoon Askar Alshinbayev, and a document from one of Meridian Capital’s previous affiliates shows that in 2011 Mynbayev had a 20 percent stake in the company.
An archived version of the company’s website that year put Meridian Capital’s assets at more than $3 billion as of 2006.
Additional information about Meridian Capital is contained in documents belonging to the Swiss bank HSBC that were the basis of ICIJ’s Swiss Leaks investigation. In May 2005, an HSBC attorney who met with Meridian Capital executive Ian Connor, a bank client, noted that the Bermuda company “is essentially a venture capital business investing in distressed companies in commodities, mining and resources” and that the company had been “very successful over the last few years through its participation in gold mining and oil prospecting companies.” In 2012 Meridian sold a shopping center in St. Petersburg to a U.S. private fund for $1.1 billion, in what has been described by Forbes magazine as one of the largest single transactions in the Russian commercial real estate market thus far.
The company now also partly controls several airports in Russia, according to Kazakh and Russian media reports.
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