Kazakhstan: US Bank Freezes $22Bln in National Fund Assets
A leading US bank has frozen $22 billion worth of assets belonging to Kazakhstan’s sovereign fund amid a long-running legal dispute between Astana and a pair of Moldovan investors, Reuters news agency reported on December 21.
Reuters cited an unnamed source familiar with the issue as saying that the asset freeze by the Bank of New York Mellon was instigated as a result of a lawsuit filed by Anatolie Stati.
Stati and his son, Gabriel Stati, have been embroiled in a legal campaign for many years to seek compensation for what they claim was Kazakhstan’s efforts to expropriate their investments in two oil and gas fields. The businessmen claim government harassment included groundless tax inspections and arrests of people working for their companies.
It is not yet clear quite why such a large chunk of assets have been sequestered, however.
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