Dec 12, 2008

"I Believed in the State"

This is what happens when you really have no idea what you are doing.

Two years ago, then-President Putin pushed the "people's IPO" of Rosneft as a way to gain political cover for the Yukos hijacking. When oil prices collapsed, Russia's poorest lost their shirts.

"I was hooked by the advertising," said a Volgograd pensioner. She invested her life savings. "I didn't understand anything about the process...To me, it was a safe investment because it was backed by the state."
"I believed in the state, especially under Putin, so I bought shares," said Sisoyev, a soft-spoken man with white hair and a soldier's posture. "Now I don't believe in anything."...The people's IPOs seemed like a safe investment, Sisoyev said, because the government was the majority shareholder and he believed it would never let the stock price fall too far."

But wait, the story gets better. At Rosneft's latest shareholder meeting, angry pensioners crammed the meeting to demand from Deputy Prime Minister (and chairman of the board at Rosneft) Igor Sechin: lower salaries for executives, higher dividends, or a buyback of their shares at the original price.

The outrage has even created an opportunity for Alexei Navalny, who is orginizing disgruntled shareholders to push for something the Kremlin never expected: shareholder rights.


Ern said...

Are there even Russian words for "shareholder rights"?

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

Really...Why wasn't this covered in Plan Putina?