ALMATY/NOV. 20 (The Conway Bulletin) — Kazakhstan on Tuesday quietly shifted Sauat Mynbayev from CEO of state-owned energy company Kazmunaigas to its national railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, a year after he was criticised by a prominent Western transparency group.
In his place, Kazmunaigas said that Alik Aidarbayev, deputy CEO of the Samruk Kazyna sovereign wealth fund, had been appointed as CEO. Kazmunaigas didn’t give a reason for dismissing Mr Mynbayev, CEO of Kazmunaigas since 2013, but it is planning an IPO on an international market and may have felt that he had become a liability.
In November 2017, the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) accused Mr Mynbayev of heading a company called Meridian which, through offshore companies, it said controlled some of Kazakhstan’s most important assets. Mr Mynbayev, the OCCRP report said, is “not just a government technocrat – he’s a magnate himself.”
Temir Zholy, the state railway company, is not earmarked for an international IPO but is still one of the most powerful companies in Kazakhstan.
— This story was first published in issue 392 of The Conway Bulletin on Nov. 23 2018