Connect with us

Azerbaijan

ALIYEVS’ EMPIRE FLOURISHES WHILE LIVING STANDARDS PLUMMET

The Azeri Times

Published

on

A company controlled by the First Daughters expanded its assets rapidly as savings and living standards in Azerbaijan plummeted with the national currency.

The massive Azerbaijani company, Pasha Holding, controls over 100 subsidiaries in everything from finance and real estate to agriculture, retail, and catering. The company’s assets are primarily concentrated in Azerbaijan, but extend across the border to Turkey, Georgia, and Montenegro.

Pasha Holding was previously controlled by its namesake, Arif Pashayev, father of First Vice President and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, but in 2013 Pashayev passed control of the holding to the First Couple’s daughters, Arzu and Leyla Aliyeva.

Since that time, the national currency, the manat, has lost half its value, causing living standards and savings to plummet as debt skyrocketed (most bank loans had been calculated in dollars or euros). Yet Pasha Holding’s assets rose from $3.3 billion in 2013, to $4.1 billion in 2017, the equivalent of over 40% of Azerbaijan’s state budget for that year.

This is even more impressive taking into account the fact that the vast majority of Pasha Holding’s business is conducted in Azerbaijan in the national currency. The value of the company’s assets calculated in manats has skyrocketed from 2.6 billion AZN in 2013 to 6.9 billion AZN in 2017. It’s an open question as to how Pasha Holding achieved this staggering growth.

Pasha Holding’s deals

There is no precise information about the capital of Pasha Holding LTD and many of its subsidiaries (Pasha Concrete, Pasha Construction, PMD Group, Amal Invest Group, etc) because they evade providing open information for the registry of commercial organizations, but at least some information is publicly available.

In 2009, residents were resettled en masse from Khan Shushinski Street in Baku and the neighborhood was demolished. The families that had been forced out of their homes told the media that the area had been taken for state needs: a residence was being built for President Ilham Aliyev. No such property, however, is included on the list of presidential residences last updated in 2017. Instead, a complex of luxury homes was built there, mostly populated by the heads of the various diplomatic corps in Azerbaijan. The complex, called Baku City Villas, belongs to Pasha Holding.

Baku City Villas
Baku City Villas.

PMD Group, founded in 2013, is rapidly growing. In short order, the company acquired a 37.5% stake in Bank Avrasiya (63.8 million AZN in capital), began managing the hotels Shamakhi Palace Shiradil (45.5 million AZN) and Naftalan Gashalti (8.1 million AZN), and founded Prime Estates – a real estate company with 17.8 million AZN in capital. In 2013, the state leased a 523 hectare agropark in Yalama to PMD Group for 49 years, as well as 956 hectares of pastures in Mugtadir.

In 2015, Pasha Holding signed several large investments both inside and outside the country, including:

  • The purchase of Turkish TAIB Yatirim Bank from Aksoy Holding and its transformation into Pasha Yatirim Bank OJSC;
  • The establishment of Blue Planet Distribution, which controls a beachfront hotel in Shurabad (Khizi District) and numerous sports and clothing shops in Baku;
  • The establishment of Azerbaijan Supermarket and Bravo Supermarket, large importers and retail chains;
  • The rapid expansion of PMD Group LTD, which operates in the fields of agriculture, processing, construction, real estate, hotel management and recreation, banking, etc.;
  • The expansion of the holding’s hotel, public catering, and cinema network, etc.

Pasha Holding LTD holds a 60% share in Pasha Bank, which operates in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. As of 1 October 2017, the bank’s consolidated financial report said its assets were worth 3.5 billion AZN and aggregate capital was worth 372 million AZN. On the same day, assets in Kapital Bank OJSC (99.87% of its shares belong to Pasha Holding LTD) were worth 3 billion AZN and capital was worth 287.6m AZN.

The capital of Pasha Development LTD was most recently published in February 2017, reportedly controlling a total of 420 million AZN in capital, including 72 million AZN in Pasha Insurance, and 58 million AZN in Pasha Life Insurance. This year the group acquired a fashionable hotel complex in Bilgah and invested 100 million AZN in the company that runs it (Yeni Bilgah Oteli).

Pasha Holding holds a 10% share in SOCAR Polymer which is being built in Sumgayit and is planned to be put into operation in the middle of this year.

Pasha Holding’s public significance

In October 2014, Azerbaijan’s Cabinet of Ministers approved a list of entities of public significance that were to do their accounting in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards. Pasha Holding was not included in the list, which contains many well-known domestic companies. At the time the holding matched at least two of three criteria required to be considered an entity of public importance: the number of employees at the holding was 2,500 (the requirement was 1,500) and its assets exceeded 2.6 billion AZN (the requirement was 300 million AZN). The third requirement was that annual revenues must exceed 120 million AZN, which is certainly true of Pasha Holding now, but the government has not updated the list of entities of public importance for over three years. If Pasha Holding is ever added to the list, the public will gain access to the company’s consolidated financial statements.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Azerbaijan

Demonstration in support of Azerbaijani blogger on hunger strike in prison: fines and arrests

The Azeri Times

Published

on

Four demonstrators have been sentenced to three weeks in prison on charges of organising unauthorised gatherings. The demonstrators recently protested the launch of a new criminal case against well-known Azerbaijani blogger Mehman Huseynov.

Among the arrestees are two journalists and two members of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA).

Another four participants were fined 300 to 400 manats (approximately 177 to 236 dollars).

Huseynov has gone on a hunger strike in protest against new charges of “attacking a prison guard” that are being levied against him.

The demonstration

Several dozen journalists and activists gathered on 3 January near the Neftchiler metro station on the outskirts of Baku, shouting “Freedom for Mehman!” and “Freedom for political prisoners!”.

Five minutes later the police stopped the rally and detained 15 people.

Seven women were released at the police station, and the rest were taken to the Nizami District Court. Three other women were released there, and five men were left in custody until a court decision was made.

On 4 January the court sentenced journalist Afgan Sadigov to 22 days in prison, while journalist Nurlan Qahramanov and PFPA members Elmkhan Agayev and Sakhavat Nabiyev were sentenced to 21 days in prison.

 Police halt rally of family members of dead soldiers in Baku, one arrested

 Where is the red line for Azerbaijan’s journalists?

Hunger strike

Mehman Huseynov is an Azerbaijani video blogger who has actively criticised the wealth and corruption of certain officials.

In early 2017 he was detained by the police. After his release, Huseynov complained that the head of the police station had tortured him. He was again arrested and received two years in prison on charges of defamation.

Local journalists, opposition activists and human rights advocates have spoken out in his defence, considering him a victim of political repression.

On 26 December 2018, with just a few months of his prison term remaining, Huseynov was accused of attacking a prison officer. A new criminal case has now been filed against him. In response, the blogger has gone on hunger strike.

The Caucasian Knot writes that on 30 December his condition worsened, and at the insistence of his brother, agreed to drink water.

The head of the public relations department of the Prison Service, Mehman Sadiqov, stated that Huseynov was not on a hunger strike and that he had no health problems.

Huseynov’s father tried to meet with him in the detention facility, but was refused access. His lawyers are also unaware of his current condition.

Mehman Huseynov has received outspoken support from Reporters Without Borders.

Continue Reading

Azerbaijan

Imprisoned Azerbaijani political blogger on hunger strike

The Azeri Times

Published

on

A prominent Azerbaijani political blogger and activist is on a hunger strike after the authorities brought new charges against him shortly before he was to be released from a two-year prison term.

Mehman Huseynov, once Azerbaijan’s most popular political blogger, was sentenced to two years in prison in March 2017 on charges that he defamed police officers who allegedly tortured him. He had been scheduled to be released in March 2019 but on December 26, prison authorities brought new charges against him.    

Huseynov allegedly did not cooperate with an inspection in prison and attacked a guard, Lieutenant Ali Abdalov, according to a statement from the state prison service. “He physically resisted and injured Abdalov,” as well as “scattered and broke” items in an office in the prison, the statement said. The prison service also claimed that Huseynov had 461 manats (about $270) in his possession, which is against prison regulations. The new charges carry a potential prison term of up to seven years.   

The day after the new charges were brought, Huseynov, 26, stopped eating and drinking, his family reported.

This is the third time in the last year that the Azerbaijani authorities have imposed new charges on a detained political activist, thus prolonging their terms. Similar punishments were meted out to a religious activist, Telman Shiraliyev, and a senior member of the opposition Popular Front Party, Mammad Ibrahim.

“The government’s repunishments are the result of their understanding that they will never control [Huseynov] by imprisonment,” said Jamil Hasanli, an Azerbaijani historian and political activist, in a Facebook post. “The government does not want to forgive this young blogger for exposing their corruption.”

“We were expecting this kind of provocation against Mehman. He was warned that he would not be released in March,” his brother, Emin Huseynov – also a political activist, living in exile in Switzerland – told the news agency Turan. “The charges are nonsense. Who believes someone can beat prison officer while being under arrest?”

Emin Huseynov said that his brother was being punished for statements he made at his mother’s funeral in August: “Breaking me down is possible only with death. Today I have lost my mother. If they release me alive from jail, I will double my activities.”

Emin Huseynov said that Mehman started drinking water again after four days at the insistence of his family, though he continues to refuse food. His family and fellow activists say his health has dramatically deteriorated.

“Mehman Huseynov is in danger of dying and we hold the Azerbaijani authorities responsible for his fate,” press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders said in a December 31 statement.

Prison authorities have claimed that Huseynov is not in fact on a hunger strike. “Mehman Huseynov is having food and water. He keeps contact with his family by telephone. He is not conducting a hunger strike. His health is also normal, and he enjoys all the rights he is allowed under the law,” said Mehman Sadigov, a prison service spokesman.  

On January 3, a group of activists held a rally in Baku demanding the Huseynov’s release, with posters depicting Huseynov and chanting “Freedom to Mehman.” Ten of the activists were detained by police.


Lamiya Adilgiz
i is a freelance Azerbaijani journalist.

Continue Reading

Politics

Senator Marco Rubio Calls for Immediate Release of Mehman Huseynov

The Azeri Times

Published

on

US Senator Marco Rubio called on official Baku to immediately release blogger Mehman Huseynov.

“Azerbaijani blogger Mehman Huseynov remains imprisoned on a trumped-up charge. Now he is in a critical situation due to a hunger strike. The government of Azerbaijan should release him immediately,” the senator wrote in his blog on Twitter.

Recall that Huseynov continues his hunger strike for the 10th day in connection with a new case brought against him about alleged resistance to the warden in the prison, where he is serving a two-year term on defamation charges against the police

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Azerbaijan2 weeks ago

Demonstration in support of Azerbaijani blogger on hunger strike in prison: fines and arrests

Azerbaijan2 weeks ago

Imprisoned Azerbaijani political blogger on hunger strike

Politics2 weeks ago

Senator Marco Rubio Calls for Immediate Release of Mehman Huseynov

Politics2 weeks ago

A jailed blogger in Azerbaijan is on a hunger strike to fight bogus charges. He must be freed.

Uncategorized3 weeks ago

Azerbaijan Extradites Kyrgyzstan’s Fugitive Ex-Customs Chief

Uncategorized3 weeks ago

Three-Year Prison Term Of Jailed Opposition Leader In Azerbaijan Cut By Two Months

Azerbaijan3 weeks ago

New pension rules hardly apply for most Azerbaijani retirees in 2019

Azerbaijan3 weeks ago

Azerbaijan: Where healthcare lacks, magic reigns

Azerbaijan4 weeks ago

Azerbaijani journalist’s bank accounts frozen

Armenia4 weeks ago

Foreign Minister’s statement on Karabakh conflict resonates in Armenia

Azerbaijan4 weeks ago

Aliyev announced New tax rules

Azerbaijan4 weeks ago

The seven main events in Azerbaijan in 2018

Karabakh4 weeks ago

Azerbaijanis displaced by war seek to keep memories alive

Azerbaijan4 weeks ago

Tourists instead of oil

Shutdown to continue for days as US Senate adjourns with no deal
World4 weeks ago

Shutdown to continue for days as US Senate adjourns with no deal

Redskins vs. Titans odds, line: Picks, best predictions from proven computer model on 16-6 roll – CBS Sports
Sport4 weeks ago

Redskins vs. Titans odds, line: Picks, best predictions from proven computer model on 16-6 roll – CBS Sports

Cardiff City vs. Manchester United – Football Match Report – December 22, 2018 – ESPN
Sport4 weeks ago

Cardiff City vs. Manchester United – Football Match Report – December 22, 2018 – ESPN

Schumer demands Trump ‘abandon the wall’ as DC faces shutdown stalemate – Fox News
Politics4 weeks ago

Schumer demands Trump ‘abandon the wall’ as DC faces shutdown stalemate – Fox News

Denmark authenticates video of murder of Scandinavian in Morocco
World4 weeks ago

Denmark authenticates video of murder of Scandinavian in Morocco

How arrest of Chinese ‘princess’ exposes regime’s world domination plot – New York Post
Politics4 weeks ago

How arrest of Chinese ‘princess’ exposes regime’s world domination plot – New York Post

Players react to blockbuster trade between Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers – Cincinnati.com
Sport4 weeks ago

Players react to blockbuster trade between Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers – Cincinnati.com

A closer look at the Pixel 3’s DxOMark review – Notebookcheck.net
Technology4 weeks ago

A closer look at the Pixel 3’s DxOMark review – Notebookcheck.net

Azerbaijan4 weeks ago

Tourists instead of oil

Azerbaijan4 weeks ago

Azerbaijani journalist’s bank accounts frozen

For Trump, ‘a War Every Day,’ Waged Increasingly Alone – The New York Times
Politics4 weeks ago

For Trump, ‘a War Every Day,’ Waged Increasingly Alone – The New York Times

‘Real Alchemy’: Chinese Scientists Discover a Way to Turn Copper Into ‘Gold’ – Sputnik International
Science4 weeks ago

‘Real Alchemy’: Chinese Scientists Discover a Way to Turn Copper Into ‘Gold’ – Sputnik International

Armenia4 weeks ago

Foreign Minister’s statement on Karabakh conflict resonates in Armenia

Azerbaijan4 weeks ago

The seven main events in Azerbaijan in 2018

Is A Backpack As Good As A Parachute When Jumping Out Of A Plane? : Shots – Health News – NPR
Science4 weeks ago

Is A Backpack As Good As A Parachute When Jumping Out Of A Plane? : Shots – Health News – NPR

Schumer demands Trump ‘abandon the wall’ as DC faces shutdown stalemate – Fox News
Politics4 weeks ago

Schumer demands Trump ‘abandon the wall’ as DC faces shutdown stalemate – Fox News

Ground turkey recall: 164,000 more pounds recalled as salmonella outbreak has sickened 216 – USA TODAY
Politics4 weeks ago

Ground turkey recall: 164,000 more pounds recalled as salmonella outbreak has sickened 216 – USA TODAY

Shutdown to continue for days as US Senate adjourns with no deal
World4 weeks ago

Shutdown to continue for days as US Senate adjourns with no deal

The Secret Fishing Habits Of Northwoods’ Wolves – NPR
Science4 weeks ago

The Secret Fishing Habits Of Northwoods’ Wolves – NPR

Two arrested for Gatwick Airport drone chaos, ‘environmental activism’ a rumored motive – Fox News
Business4 weeks ago

Two arrested for Gatwick Airport drone chaos, ‘environmental activism’ a rumored motive – Fox News

The 10 Android apps that made the most money worldwide in 2018 – Business Insider
Technology4 weeks ago

The 10 Android apps that made the most money worldwide in 2018 – Business Insider

Karabakh4 weeks ago

Azerbaijanis displaced by war seek to keep memories alive

Trending

© Azeri Times - All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of the site's materials is permitted only with a mandatory reference to www.azeritimes.com. Email: info@azeritimes.com