|Gulnara Karimova; photo: gulnarakarimova.com|
Germany’s Der Spiegel estimates Gulnara Karimova’s wealth at $570m
Uznews.net – According to the German magazine Der Spiegel, the wealth of Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s eldest daughter, Gulnara, is estimated at $570m.
Gulnara – a Harvard graduate, fashion designer and singer – has been appointed ambassador to Spain, which is the current president of the EU. Her objective is to improve the image of her country, known for unfair elections and the bloody crushing of a rally in Andijan in 2005, the publication said.
She has already been attempting to do this by inviting world-class celebrities to the country, for example singer Sting and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
Gulnara, 37, can afford all this because her wealth is estimated at $570m.
She started her business after she divorced her American husband Mansur Maqsudi, who used to run the Coca Cola Company’s branch in Uzbekistan, in 2001.
The Financial Times said in 2003 that Gulnara started her business with registering Revi Holding in Sharjah in 2001, which received payments from Uzbekistan’s Uzdunrobita telecom company, the USA’s International Communisations Group, the Uzbek government and China’s Huawei Technologies.
Karimova decided not to limit her business interests to the telecom sector only and started to expand into the industrial and extractive sectors in March 2003, the Financial Times said.
Through another UAE-based company, United International Group (Uning), she bought a 44.5% stake in the Kuvasaytsement cement company for $172,853.
Karimova now does not need to run business through Middle Eastern companies: after settling legal issues with her husband, who had charged her with kidnapping their children, European countries opened doors to her again.
Switzerland-based Zeromax, which is Uzbekistan’s largest foreign investor, is reported to belong to Gulnara. The company said it had invested about $370m in the Uzbek economy as of November 2007. It has interests in many sectors of the economy.
For example, it is very active in the energy sphere, where it receives the increasing number of contracts from the Uzbekneftegaz national oil and gas company to explore and develop oil and gas fields and it is involved in the gold, farming, textile, services and transport sectors.
All this explains the rapid growth of Gulnara’s wealth to $570m in less than 10 years.