Politics 12:34 24/12/2022 Armenia

ANIF freed from ZCMC stake management; ZCMC's foreign leaders may have played a role in it – Pastinfo

The Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) has announced that it will no longer manage the shares of the Armenian government in the Zangezur Copper Molybdenum Combine (ZCMC). In a statement on Thursday, ANIF also said the stake would be transferred to the State Property Management Committee.

The government’s move to transfer its 21.9% ZCMC shares to another state-run agency testifies to “discontent” within ANIF, Pastinfo says, attributing it to its earlier reports. The stake was handed over to the management of ANIF in 2022 by the government decision.

Citing its sources, Pastinfo claims concerns among ANIF’s foreign leaders over the ZCMC stake management further grew following the report titled “Foreign members of ANIF Board of Directors have been isolated from trust management of ZCMC shares.”

“Incidentally, Pastinfo tried to reach out to the Italian and French members of ANIF Board of Directors and President of the ANIF Investment Committee Khaled Helioui to get answers to a number of controversial questions about the ZCMC deal, however, in a gross violation of the information freedom law, ANIF keeps the contact data of its board members secret; the phone numbers of their offices or their email addresses are not available on the ANIF website," the news website said.

ANIF asked Pastinfo to send the queries to it, promising to pass them on to the addressees. “We have not heard back from the addressees to date, thus we can assume that the questions have never been submitted to them,” Pastinfo said.

Here are the questions Pastinfo addressed to the Board of Directors members and the Investment Committee chairman: Why does ZCMC reject a shareholder's request for an audit of the company? Is it conditioned by the personality of the shareholder who requested this information (lawsuits filed by them). Did they ask for and/or initiate an audit or inspection at the company? Did the ZCMC also reject the Republic of Armenia’s request to conduct an audit or inspection or did the Republic of Armenia have the opportunity to conduct an audit or inspection at the ZCMC? If you didn't make such an appeal, given the recent disclosures (compensation of about 15 billion drams of damage by the ZCMC management), don't you think there is such need? And if you conducted an audit, what violations were found?

In response, Pastinfo received an unsigned letter from ANIF reading: "In response to your queries regarding ZCMC, please be advised that ANIF, as a manager of the minority shareholder’s stake, is not involved in most of the day-to-day management tasks of ZCMC. Most of your questions, we believe, should be addressed to the company. Shareholder relations are regulated in the manner prescribed by the relevant legislation of Armenia. In response to your questions in this regard, we can inform you that all issues, including the transparency of information, are regulated by the law.”

Source Panorama.am
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