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Russian tycoon Oleg Tinkov said he was forced by the Kremlin to sell his stake in Russia’s second-largest bank without any opportunity to negotiate, the New York Times reported on Sunday, after Tinkov criticized the invasion of Ukraine in a post on Instagram.

Key Facts

Tinkov told the New York Times that just a day after his comment on the war, executives of Tinkov Bank were contacted by the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration and were ordered to sever ties under the threat of nationalization of the bank.

Last week, the Russian magnate agreed to sell his 35% stake in TCS Group Holdings—which owns Tinkoff Bank—close Putin ally Vladimir Potanin.

Comparing his state to that of a hostage situation, Tinkov told the Times that he was allowed to negotiate the price and had to take what was being offered.

On April 19, Tinkov posted on Instagram that he did not see anyone benefiting from the “crazy war” and lamented that innocent people and soldiers were dying.

While Tinkov is the only major Russian business leader to speak up against Putin and his war he claimed that many of Russia’s business and government elite have privately said they agree with him but are “all afraid.”

The Russian tycoon now resides in an undisclosed location under the protection of bodyguards.

Big Number

$7.7 Billion. That is what Tinkov’s net worth was at his peak according to a Forbes estimate. Since the start of the war share’s in Tinkoff’s former holding company TCS Group Holdings plunged more than 90%.

Key Background

Tinkov’s decision to sell his stake in the Tinkoff Bank was made public last week when he said that he was retiring to devote more time to looking after his health and his family. Tinkov’s TCS stake was sold to the conglomerate Interros which is owned by Russia’s richest person Vladimir Potantin. While exact details about the sale were not made public, the company’s market cap recently stood at $650 million—after cratering massively in value since the start of the invasion—and Tinkov may have likely set to receive somewhere around $225 million. Back in 2020, Tinkov stepped down as the chairman of Tinkoff Bank after being diagnosed with acute leukemia. The son of a Siberian coal miner, Tinkov, was one of Russia’s few self-made billionaires who made his fortunes outside the mining and energy industry.

Further Reading

Russian Tycoon Criticized Putin’s War. Retribution Was Swift. (New York Times)

Russian Tycoon Oleg Tinkov Sells Bank Stake To Oligarch Vladimir Potanin (Forbes)

Source: Forbes

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