The news about the beginning of the long-awaited implementation of Smart City project in Kyrgyzstan caused many questions. The public was bewildered by the co-investor chosen by the Chinese companies Huawei and Beijing China Veterans Lingxin Capital Management.
Aka Minerals and Mining LLC, indicated by the officials as a partner of the project, quickly redrafted the documents.
AKA Petroleum is a member of AKA Group, a group of companies engaged in investments and developments in international real estate and hotel projects in Dubai, Germany, Great Britain, China and Central Asia.
As the government stressed, the company does not receive financial benefits from the project. It is investing its own $ 9 million.
The total amount of investments in Smart City project is $ 60 million.
Composition of founding members of Aka Minerals and Mining was changed on January 7, 2018. This company also changed its name to AKA Invest. Its founders are Kasym Muratovich Kurbanov and AKA Petroleum.
24.kg news agency after a long search found a man whose signature is under the investment agreement on Smart City project. Mr. Kudrat Nurmamet answered our questions.
Mysterious investor remains mysterious
— Mr. Nurmamet, why is there such a secrecy around the co-investor of a large for Kyrgyzstan project? This evokes suspicions that the company has something to hide. Is your signature really under the investment agreement? If it is, in what capacity did you sign it?
— I signed the agreement as an authorized representative of the owner of the holding. I have a general letter of authority to represent our company in Kyrgyzstan. The agreement included our subsidiary company in Kyrgyzstan, AKA Minerals and Mining, which was later renamed into AKA Invest.
— Please, tell us more about the holding company and its founder. What does «AKA» mean?
— The name of our holding company consists of the initial letters of the name of its owner. He lives in Germany. AKA Holding started its business from export-import operations. Then we engaged in other areas of activity, including construction, real estate trading, petrochemistry...
Our policy is that we register a separate firm for each specific direction. Now there are about 20 companies in AKA Holding.Kudrat Nurmamet
We have two projects on extraction of antimony in Kyrgyzstan. We won the auction, which so far is considered to be the most successful in the history of your Geology Agency: the price of the object has grown to $ 4.5 million, which we have paid to the budget of Kyrgyzstan on time.
— Why do not you name the owner of AKA Holding?
-This is his request. He considers important not this, but worthy implementation of the project necessary for Kyrgyzstan.
About inner workings of AKA Holding
— The local press wrote a lot that the capital of your mother company is only €25,000...
— Charter capital is one for all companies with one form of ownership, and it is the minimum that a company must have for registration in Germany.
It does not have to do with the size of its assets. I would now very roughly estimate our assets at a half a billion euros minimum.
-AKA Holding intends to invest $ 9 million in Smart City project. What is the commercial gain?
— There is no commercial interest there. Aka Invest will invest this amount, and then, when the project begins to pay off, the company will monthly get the money back within five years without interest. We are transferring a large amount for use to Kyrgyzstan, without interest. I do not quite understand why such an excitement arose around us.
— Because, unfortunately, Kyrgyzstan has a bitter experience of dealing with unscrupulous partners. Therefore, the question, what is the reason for such generosity, is quite understandable.
— I should note that we are already working in the market of Kyrgyzstan and we are well aware of the internal situation. We, for example, are concerned about the situation that is developing on the roads of the country.
I will say more: our employees have already got here in a serious traffic accident. That is, we ourselves have experienced a tragedy.
As for Smart City, when other co-investor — Beijing China Veterans Lingxin Capital Management asked us to help and enter the project, we agreed.
Is Chinese experience a good experience?
— It means you have a lot of experience with the Chinese?
— A serious part of our business is connected with the PRC. Yes, we are not indifferent to our reputation in China.
Generally, we see prospects in the Kyrgyz market, we would like to work here. Already this year we plan to start mining antimony. There are other opportunities, including in construction sector. Although we see quite high risks.
— The media wrote that you would like to participate in the next auction for the acquisition of a mobile operator MegaCom.
— This is a difficult question. I will say this: we are studying such an opportunity. The telecommunications and the Internet markets are promising projects. We could involve as co-investor one of the largest mobile operators in Western Europe.
But, according to our estimates, after the acquisition of MegaCom, an investor may face lawsuits for more than $ 200 million. Other $ 200 million, let us suppose, will have to be paid to the state. Plus, huge funds are needed to upgrade obsolete equipment...
In this situation, is it not easier to build a new company — as people say, from scratch? Our AKA Holding must assess the risks before making any decisions.
Let’s put on its honor
— Can you honestly say whom of Kyrgyz politicians your company AKA is somehow connected with, who lobbies your interests?
-No, this connection does not exist and has never been.
— Tell us more about the projects that AKA has successfully implemented.
-We have nothing to hide. A new corporate website will soon be launched, where we will post detailed information on all the implemented projects: from Almaty-Kapchagay gas pipeline to the recently completed construction of a building in Augsburg, Germany. You will be able to see and evaluate everything by yourself.
— There is no sense of completeness of information, to be sure, after the interview...
— We do not see the need to report to anyone, except for the state bodies of Kyrgyzstan. But if the public is interested in the past of our holding, let them get acquainted with it on our website and further judge us by specific deals and results.