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YEREVAN. - WikiLeaks has published U.S. Embassy Yerevan cable with description of property of Armenian oligarchs. The publication presents main items of income of the largest Armenian oligarchs as of December 2003. Armenian preserves the style and stylistic of the cable in the majority of cases.

Note, similar information has already been published in 2009 by Forbes magazine. The characters of the article were “the strongest” (Gagik Tsarukyan), “most inventive” (Mikhail Bagdasarov), “most acute” (Valery Mezhlumyan), “most experienced” (Khachatur Sukiasyan) and “most artistic” (Alexander Akopov).

According to U.S. Embassy Yerevan cable, the Multi Group owned by big businessman MP Gagik Tsarukyan (Dodi Gago) has a number of major enterprises in different industries:

  • Kotayk Brewery:  a joint venture with Castel Beer
  • Manana Grain:  one of Armenia’s major wheat importers
  • Aviaservice:  the GOAM (government of Armenia) sold the right to service aircrafts (catering, etc.) in November 2003.  According to Embassy sources, the [former Armenian] president’s nephews have stake in this business
  • Armenian International Airways (AIA):  Tsarukyan is believed to have already cashed out
  • Ararat winery
  • Multi Group Dairy:  Tsarukyan’s mother is in charge of this branch of the business
  • Multi Stone:  travertine export to Europe. The plant is equipped with modern state of the art Italian stone cutting machines.
  • Casino Club Cleopatra, along with a new casino (Pyramid) under construction
  • Gyumri Textile plant: silent co-owner
  • Farm projects:  including most of the vegetables sold to the Armenian Military forces
  • Furniture Salon network:  the largest importer of European furniture in the country
  • Gas stations and natural gas stations:  Multi Leon chain
  • Two major retail markets:  GUM and Mashtots Ave

The SIL Group run by Khachatur Sukiassyan is one of the oldest conglomerates, engaged in many industries, particularly:

  • Restaurant chains Pizza di Roma, Queen burger, Chalet
  • SIL Hotel and SIL Plaza department store
  • Official distributor of Phillip Morris
  • Real Estate in downtown Yerevan
  • Golden Wood International: hardwood lumber, flooring strip and finger-joint panel manufacturer
  • Yerevan Furniture Plant panel manufacturer
  • Armeconombank:  a leading commercial bank
  • Bjni mineral water plant
  • Yerevan Polyplast OJSC:  manufacturer of various plastic household items, pipes, sanitation piping units, polyethylene film and bags, linoleum and artificial leather
  • Zovq Factory OJSC:  Zovq natural juices factory
  • Construction business (wood and panel)
  • Star Valley Co. (Dubai):  SIL Group’s representative in UAE
  • Masis Gofrotara:  cardboard and napkin production
  • Sevan Grain Milling Company

MIKA Ltd. is managed by Mikhael Bagdasarov, whose businesses include:

  • ArmSavings Bank, privatized in 2001
  • Viktoria Trade: a major wheat importer
  • Mika Trading: oil products imports and distribution (including 40 percent of gasoline imports)
  • Armavia:  chartered flights to major Russian cities
  • Hrazdan Cement Plant, renamed to Mika Cement
  • Gas station chains (called MIKA)
  • Mineral water bottling in Dilijan (Dilijan Frolova)
  • Other major businesses in Russia and Europe

The GRAND Group is run by Hrant Vardanian. Vardanian enjoys strong popularity within the general public as a successful industrialist and director who reopened several major Soviet-era plants. His businesses include:

  • Grand Candy: major Armenian producer of chocolates, sweets, ice creams, etc.
  • Grand Tobacco: partner with Ruben Hayrapetyan (Nemets Rubo) and International Masis Tabak (there has been some conflict between the two major cigarette producers)
  • Grand Sun:  production of bulbs and lamps on the basis of the privatized Lamp factory. Built a similar factory in Iran.
  • Alcohol production
  • Several Company stores and cafe chains

The Hayrapetyan family owns the Hayrapetyan Brothers Company. Close to the president’s office, especially to advisor Alexan Harutunyan. Business activities include:

  • Hayastan Department store
  • Hotel Ararat
  • BMW dealer
  • Erebuni Textile production plant
  • Hotel on Lake Sevan shore
  • Other minor businesses

Ruben Hayrapetyan, a.k.a. Nemets (German) Rubo. Hayrapetyan is the current Chairman of the Armenian Football Federation, MP (elected in 2003), and former Prefect of Avan community of Armenian capital. Hayrapetyan appears to be supported by the president’s office. Business activities include:

  • Co-owner of Grand Tobacco
  • Aragats textile production plant
  • Harsnaqar hotel on Sevan shore
  • Several gas stations
  • Other additional minor businesses

Harutyun Pambukyan is an MP elected in 1999 and 2003.  He defeated Rubo the Flower (Ruben Gevorgian) in the race in Davidashen district of Yerevan.  Pambukian is a relatively new oligarch and major financial supporter of the presidential campaign in 2003. Major known business activities include:

  • Max Group:  farms, gas stations
  • Lusakert Poultry Plant
  • Yeghvard Animal Feed Plant
  • Stakeholder in Midland Resources: owner of electricity distribution networks

Samvel Aleksanyan is also known under nickname of Lfik Samo. Elected MP in 2003. A semi-criminal oligarch, Aleksanyan maintains an army of bodyguards. Close to the president’s office. Aleksanyan tries to resemble Dodi Gago in everything: his house has the same architecture, he drives the same models of cars, etc. He has the following legal businesses:

  • Lusastgh (Shining Star): produces vodka and vegetable oil, owns supermarkets
  • Informal "Feudal Lord" of Malatia (a district in Yerevan)
  • Major importer of wheat, sugar and butter.  Anti-monopoly Committee recently looked into his case and admitted that there is a monopoly in sugar and butter import.  Due to his very close ties with the Customs Committee, he is able to import products with best possible privileges, thus minimizing competition in the market for his company.
  • Natali Pharm: imports and distributes drugs
  • Other additional minor businesses
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