Timur Kulibayev's Big Sale


Timur Kulibayev, one of the richest people in Kazakhstan and Nursultan Nazarbayev's son-in-law, has sold one mansion in London and is looking for a buyer for his other one. News about this began to surface in early May. Orda.kz has looked into the matter.

Five Minutes from Buckingham Palace

Timur Kulibayev ceased to be the owner of one mansion. It is on Upper Grosvenor Street in London's prestigious Mayfair district. The sale occurred in early March. This only became widely known a couple of months later, however. North Wind Capital purchased the real estate for 35 million pounds and has plans for significant reconstruction. Timur Kulibayev is also selling the neighboring mansion but has yet to find a buyer.

City A.M. reports that both houses had belonged to Kulibayev for almost 20 years and had been unoccupied since the initial purchase. The mansions are located directly opposite the Embassy of Monaco, a short walk from Buckingham Palace. The street where they are located leads from the famous Hyde Park to the equally renowned Grosvenor Square.

Kulibayev's mansion in London. Photo: Maps.google.com

For luxury real estate in London, 35 million pounds is a relatively modest price. The cost of mansions in the UK began to fall after Brexit. The Kazakh oligarch therefore may have been in a rush to sell while profitability was still possible.

Timur Kulibayev's foreign real estate is not limited to London. In 2022, Deutsche Welle wrote that Nazarbayev's son-in-law was acquiring real estate and hotels in Germany. Kulibayev reportedly bought the semi-abandoned Sunninghill Park estate in the English county of Berkshire from Prince Andrew. He would then demolish it and build a new mansion in its place. Locals called it "very ugly", comparing it to a supermarket. 

There is still no information on Kulibayev attempting to sell these properties. 

The Kulibayev couple has been gradually selling off non-core assets for several years while maintaining the status of one of the richest families in Kazakhstan.

Cutting Ties

In April, reports emerged on Halyk Bank selling its subsidiary bank in Kyrgyzstan. The Kulibayev couple controls Halyk through Almex group. All of its shares were transferred to the Visor International DMCC investment group. Aidan Karibzhanov is in charge of The Visor Group. Karibzhanov is one of the richest and most influential businessmen in Kazakhstan.

Halyk Bank also did away with its subsidiaries in Russia and Tajikistan. Moskommertsbank became problematic after Russia invaded Ukraine. Halyk Bank lost $41 million and could have lost even more if it had delayed the deal.

Tajikistan's and Kyrgyzstan's economies are small and largely focused on Russia, thus the sale of banks in these countries is seemingly justified. Kulibayev likely wanted to minimize potential risks.

Kulibayev's holding "Joint Resources" reported major financial losses at the end of 2022. By the end of 2023, the oligarch radically changed the company's board of directors

Meanwhile, Almex remains the main source of dividends for the Kulibayev couple. In 2023, their income from the holding group amounted to 88.9 billion tenge. Other priority assets for Kulibayev are several oil enterprises such as Kaspiy Neft. The profits of this joint-stock company fell in 2023. Nazarbayev's son-in-law received 11 billion tenge in dividends from the company nonetheless.

Timur Kulibayev. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, OGL v1.0

Kulibayev maintains significant influence in the oil and gas sector. Parting with subsidiary banks abroad eases the consolidation of assets within the country. The recent "big sale" does not mean his position has weakened. On the contrary, the less non-vital property, the easier it is to focus on key business interests.

The Rich Are Getting Richer

The oligarchy losing some marginal assets will not affect their overall situation, emphasizes political scientist Valery Volodin.

It seemed to many that after Qantar, the family and associates of Nursultan Nazarbayev would finally lose their positions and capital. Contrary to this opinion, Timur and Dinara Kulibayev have become significantly richer. Their main business is still the People's Bank of Kazakhstan. And in addition to banking, their business interests include real estate and the subsoil of Kazakhstan. Kulibayev's companies continue to drill wells and pump oil, build, and manage commercial real estate. It is and only Kazakhstan that remains their area of interest. Therefore, all non-Kazakh business projects are being sold pressingly, becoming cash, says Valery Volodin.

In Forbes Kazakhstan's ranking, Kulibayev still ranks second. His assets are estimated at five billion dollars.

The oligarch's main business, Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan, has risen in price by $1.8 billion over the year. The Kulibayev couple's role in Kazakhstan will not change in the foreseeable future.

The Kulibaevs have become more cautious, less confident in the future, but they have not lost the desire to earn money. In general, it is possible to notice a pattern that the Kulibayevs' presence in the life of the country is not decreasing, moreover, the family continues to actively accumulate all possible funds, and, presumably, to withdraw them from the country just as actively, Valery Volodin says.

A Mere Drop

Kulibayev has not parted with certain assets on his own accord. He lost LLP "Liquefied Petroleum Gas Storage Park" in the Atyrau region in court. In 2021, Kulibayev took over half of this company through Joint Technologies LLP. The deal was conducted with violations. Joint Technologies is still among the company's founders (stakeholders).


LLP "Liquefied Petroleum Gas Storage Park" supplied liquefied natural gas from the Atyrau refinery. The LLP abused its monopoly position in the market, inflating prices and imposing the services of another company controlled by Kulibayev on consumers. 

The AZRC obtained a court decision on the return of the asset. The company should have already been taken from the oligarch. Yet, it remains under his control. The reason may be that it has to pay billions in fines.

Among other assets taken from Kulibayev are fuel bases of TEK—Kazakhstan LLP. Several Almaty land plots may soon make this list. He has controlled them through Kipros LLP and Joint Technologies LLP. Even if the oligarch loses this property, it will not affect his overall financial standing.

For the most part, the oligarch seems to be ridding himself of unneeded assets to avoid unnecessary losses. And continues to get richer.

Original Author: Nikita Drobny

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original piece in Russian for accuracy.

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