|By PR Newswire||
|October 10, 2013 03:00 AM EDT||
MOSCOW, October 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Russian businessman Gennady Timchenko, the main shareholder in Volga Group, gives an insight into his business philosophy and the future strategy of his investment vehicle in today's edition of Kommersant, one of Russia's leading business newspapers.
In a wide-ranging interview that also touches on NOVATEK's increasing cooperation with China, Mr Timchenko states that he believes in the future of Europe's oil refining industry and is considering further investments in the sector.
Volga Group plans to increase its involvement in infrastructure projects in Russia, which Mr Timchenko believes will help boost economic development across the country. Tenders and concession contracts are an important factor in the future development in infrastructure, and Mr Timchenko calls for them to be adopted in Russia as a means of encouraging foreign participation.
"We are looking at infrastructure projects and are focusing on them today. We are interested in building roads and railways, and other sorts of infrastructure."
Mr Timchenko also tells Kommersant that he has already recouped almost half of his investment in two refineries in Antwerp, Belgium, and Ingolstadt, Germany, acquired from bankrupt Swiss firm Petroplus in May 2012.
"We considered market conditions at the time to be favourable. The acquisition was very competitive, but apart from Gunvor no-one could guarantee that the refinery would not be closed. And this was a very important factor for the tender commission."
Europe was where Mr Timchenko took his first steps into business, and where he began to develop the ideas that continue to guide his investments today.
"It was in Europe that I realised that the most important thing in business is one's reputation," he says "When you are building a business with a partner, before entering into business relations, you first have to just get to know him. If you start trusting each other, there will be no problems."
Mr Timchenko also believes that the quality of a company's management is the determining factor in its success - something that he says helps to explain why he often takes a minority stake rather than seeking outright control of a company.
"A company's ownership structure is not important - what is important is how it is managed."
"I entrust [the day-to-day running of the companies] to young and promising managers. Of course I meet them regularly, and if something urgent comes up then they come to me directly. But I see my role in setting strategy, and I prefer to remain above day-to-day operations. If a company works properly and correctly, then I don't interfere."
A translation of the full interview is available at http://www.volga-resources.com/press/media/
About Volga Group
As one of the largest investment groups in Russia, Volga Group has investments in 18 core companies, located mainly in Russia, whose total consolidated annual revenue in 2012 amounted to some US$116 billion (Volga does not own 100% equity stakes in all portfolio companies).
Volga Group's investment policy is based on value-driven assets that produce consistent, long-term returns with a focus on Russia. It has three strategic core areas, namely energy, logistics and infrastructure. It also has investments in the financial services and consumer goods sectors.
The Group's most significant investments include stakes in Novatek (23%), Gunvor (44%), Sibur (37.3%), Transoil (80%) and STG Group (63%).
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