Forbes estimates Gutseriev family debts at $15.5 billion

Forbes estimates Gutseriev family debts at $15.5 billion
Mikhail Gutseriev

Gutserievs’ total debt amounts to 1% of the assets of the entire banking system, Forbes calculated. However, a source close to the Central Bank and an expert the publication interviewed both say that “everyone is OK” with the amount of debt.

The total debt of the companies associated with the family of banker Mikhail Gutseriev is approximately 1 trillion rubles ($15.5 billion), Forbes said citing two sources.

According to the magazine’s interlocutors, the figure is a result of counting the bank of soft assets (Trust). The data coincides with the public information, Forbes says. In particular, in early October, Reuters wrote that Trust and Gutseriev were negotiating an agreement on the settlement of debts of 140 billion rubles, and one of the agency’s sources estimated the total amount the businessman’s companies owed to Trust at 320 billion rubles ($5 billion).

In addition, the Gutseriev family owes $5 billion to Sberbank. Thus, the Afipsky oil refinery owned by Safar Gutseriev owes the bank more than 170 billion rubles, and in early October Sberbank issued a $1 billion loan to the plant. Forbes’ source close to the banker said that Gutseriev did not recognize the debt of the Afipsky oil refinery.

The businessman’s structures also pay money to several other banks, but the loan sizes there do not exceed 10 billion rubles, Forbes clarifies. The magazine estimates the total debt at 1% of the assets of the entire banking system.

A source close to Sberbank told Forbes that Gutseriev did not disclose the amount of debt of his family even to the largest creditors. However, a journalist close to the Central Bank said that “everyone is OK” with the amount of debt; all the loans are reserved, and Gutseriev has working assets.

“A trillion-ruble debt itself does not say anything. We have to understand what companies those loans were issued to, whether they generate the cash flow to service it, what collaterals were provided and what their value is,” said Alexander Danilov, senior director of the Fitch Ratings banking analytic group.

According to Forbes, the Gutseriev family has been the first on the list of the richest families in Russia for five years in a row with a combined wealth of $25.3 billion.



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