All In the Family: Armenian Prime Minister’s Booming Business Empire-3
We continue to present the companies, doing business in a variety of sectors, owned by Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan and his relatives.
Leasing of Real Estate
Strategic Property Management (SPM) CJSC is fully owned by Argam Abrahamyan. The company’s office is located at 4/2 Amiryan Street in
According to official Armenian tax data, SPM engages mostly in the wholesale foodstuff, beverage and tobacco sector. Currently, the company has temporarily ceased operations.
“Yes, I am the director. Right now, the company has halted its operations. In general, SPM doesn’t engage in any operation,” Angin Sargsyan said.
When asked why the company was founded in the first place with such a large amount of capital if it didn’t plan to operate any business, Angin Sargsyan replied:
“Sorry, but I will not answer as to why the company was founded. That’s my company’s secret and, as director, I am authorized not to reply. Perhaps you find it absurd that the company doesn’t operate with such capital, but it’s not absurd for me. The company was started but now has ceased to operate. We didn’t know what it was doing. When it starts to operate anew, you’ll hear about it. Call and I’ll tell you what the company is doing.”
Property Solutions Ltd. is the legal successor of Alliance Advisory Center Ltd. The company’s paid-in capital is 75.3 million AMD. 100% of the company’s shares were transferred to Gagik Poghosyan in June 2014.
In order to lease some space, Gagik Poghosyan petitioned the
Railways, Transport Sector
Argam Abrahamyan’s two partners in Transport Development Consortium (TDC) CJSC are not random individuals. Levon Kocharyan (son of
Kocharyan and Khachatryan also own shares in Nayri Insurance; 60% and 40% respectively.
Vanadzor resident Rouben Zatikyan serves as director of TDC. Zatikyan also owns the #46 microbus route. 100% of the shares of Aravel Ltd., which services the fleet of buses, were obtained by TDC in March 2013.
TDC CJSC is registered at the address of Vahagn Khachatryan’s residency. Another company owned by Khachatryan, Grigoryans’ Trans Service Ltd. (, which services three microbus routes in
Transporting CJSC was founded in 2012 and is owned 50/50 by Gagik Poghosyan and his business partner Julieta Sargsyan. The company’s office is located at 4/3 Amiryan Street in
Transporting CJSC operates the #41 and 45 microbus routes in
Hovik Abrahamyan and his circle of friends also run buses in the town of
Mamikon-Narek Ltd. is wholly owned by Henrik Abrahamyan’s daughter Meri Abrahamyan. Yurik Bouniatyan serves as company director. The Company was founded in 2007 to operate taxi services, engage in trade, and produce construction materials. The company owns Taxi Mkhchyan, a taxi service.
Production of construction material and stones
In 2003, Ararat Cement OJSC was privatized and re-launched as Ararat Cement CJSC. Argam Abrahamyan owns 30% of the company and Gagik Tsaroukyan 70%.
Right Stone Ltd. was founded in 2008 and is mostly engaged in stone refinishing and construction. 40% of the company is owned by Argam Abrahamyan, 30% by
Jas-Beton Shin Ltd. was founded by Henrik Abrahamyan (brother of Armenian PM Hovik Abrahamyan) and former MP Armen Poudoyan. They exited the company in 2006 and 100% of the shares reverted to Rouzanna Hovsepyan (Henrik Abrahamyan’s wife). The company produces construction materials.
Metz Armat Ltd. is also a construction company and is fully owned by Henrik Abrahamyan. He serves as its director. The company produces and sells fabricated hosing parts. The company was founded in 2008.
Elz-Nar Ltd. is owned by Diana Abrahamyan (Henrik Abrahamyan’s daughter-in-law). The company sells and packages food and non-food items, as well as construction materials.
Gagik Poghosyan fully owns, and is the director of, Sun-Lus Ltd. founded in 2010. The company’s legal address is registered in the
Henrik Abrahamyan: Defender of animals
Jaguar Animal World Ltd. is listed in the state registry as an organization engaged in the protection and reproduction of rare and nearly extinct wild animals, and as an organizer of ecotourism and hunting tourism events. It was founded in 2013 and is 100% owned by Henrik Abrahamyan.
Director Gabriel Poghosyan told Hetq that the company is currently inactive, but that it is planning projects aimed at protecting wild animals along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
“Right now, the company isn’t doing anything, but in the future it will be engaged in the protection of animals and nothing else. We will protect the bezoar ibex and wild mouflon sheep found in
“Animals are fleeing over the border to
While the company is fully owned by Henrik Abrahamyan, Gabriel Poghosyan denied any links between Abrahamyan and the company.
Business operated in partnership with foreigners
In contrast to his brother Henrik, Hovik Abrahamyan’s daughter Rebeka Abrahamyan has recently entered the business world. On September 17, 2014, she became 25% owner of Mit Invest Ltd., founded by Arman Mirzoyan just one month earlier. On the same day, two Georgians became 25% owners each of the company. One was Levan Chikovani (executive director and 50% owner of the Czech Wind Energy Investment s.r.o.), and the other was Mindia Sabandze (the owner of several companies). Hetq’s Georgian partners helped us compose the following list of companies owned by the two Georgians.
Yevropa-Bed.am Ltd. is an Armenian-Georgian company founded in 2012. Argam Abrahamyan owns 20%; Armenian MP Vardan Ayvazyan’s son Souren owns 20%, Karen Minasyan-10%; 48% belongs to Georgian citizen Zaour Yakhadze; and Zaza Mikelashvi, another Georgian, owns 2%. Yerevan resident Grigor Sahradyan serves as company director.
Golden MK Ltd. is owned by Gagik Poghosyan (20%), Moscow resident Mikhail Berzukov (40%), and Rouzanna Asoulyan (40%). The director is Rudolf Grigoryan.
Mikhail Bezrukov is a Moscow businessman. He was a master sportsman during the Soviet era and the chief coach of the Soviet Union’s national football team. Since 1992 he’s served as president of the Hockey and Football Club Russia CJSC. As of 2000, Bezrukov has been the director of the Social Adaptation Center NGO Fund.
Bezrukov is the Solnechnogorsk branch president of Russia’s ruling Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia) party. According to Russian press reports, Bezrukov is a local criminal authority with whom area businessmen must sit down and negotiate with. He owns scores of companies engaged in commerce, real estate, the restaurant trade, sports, and others. On numerous occasions we tried to contact him to clarify what links, if any, his companies have with several companies in Armenia. At first, we were told he wasn’t in town. His staff then asked us to leave a phone number where he could reach us. So far, Bezrukov hasn’t called us.
No explanations from the prime minister and his friends
Only four companies linked to relatives of Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan made it to the list of Armenia’s top 1,000 taxpayers from January-September 2014. They are: Ararat Cement CJSC (in 111th place with 865 million AMD in taxes paid); Artashat Cannery Plant (135th place, 647 million AMD); Mkhchyan Fish Food (406th place, 212.550 million AMD); Navti Gaz (611thplace, 126 million AMD).
Thus, the other companies owned by the prime minister’s relatives paid 74 million AMD less than the company that what listed in 1,000th place given that the latter paid exactly 74 million.
The assets of the Abrahamyans and their relatives do not end here. They own 53.24 hectares of agricultural zoned land in the village of Mkhchyan, some ten pieces of real estate near Yerevan, and an equal number of cars. There are also hundreds of hectares of grape vineyards in Artashat and nearby villages; natural gas filling stations outside Yerevan; gasoline stations and casinos along the highways of Armenia; and a resort house in Crimea (that was purchased in 2007 for US$7 million. News outlets in Armenia wrote about the Crimea resort several times and the prime minister never denied the news.
There are also mechanical and knitting factories in Artashat, an auto park, lands adjacent to the Sirious Plant, wine and cement factories, a resort house and five hectares of land in Tzaghkatzor, apartments in Yerevan, a private house near Lake Sevan, etc. The list is never-ending because most of these properties are registered under the names of others.
Back when Hovik Abrahamyan served as the president of the Armenian parliament, we wrote to him asking that he explain the source for all the money appearing on his financial disclosure statement. We also wanted to know whether certain factories belonged to him. Just as now, when he serves as the prime minister, he failed to answer our inquiries.
We couldn’t get any clarifications from the prime minister’s son Argam Abrahamyan. Argam is the owner and director of Imperium Group Ltd. located at 4/7 Amiryan Street in Yerevan. We called the directors of companies located there (which have ties to the Abrahamyans) in order to get the telephone number of Imperium Group. All the directors told us that there was no Imperium Group located there. Angin Sargsyan, Deputy Director of Imperium Plaza CJSC (located at the same address) was surprised to hear that a company by that name is registered there.
We also failed to get any clarification from Gagik Poghosyan, a relative of the Abrahamyans. Both Robert Gasparyan (his son-in-law) and Angin Sargsyan told Hetq that they weren’t authorized to give his number. We then asked Robert Gasparyan to get a message to Poghosyan to call Hetq. He did, but told us nothing.
People in Armenia know Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan by his nickname “Mouse”.
The following is taken from an interview that the newspaper 168 Zham had with Abrahamyan regarding the use of his nickname.
In an interview with the newspaper 168 Zham, PM Abrahamyan was asked if he felt insulted when the press refers to him by his nickname “Mouk” (mouse). In response, Abrahamyan said he had no such complexes and that if certain news outlets got a kick from calling him by his nickname they should continue to do so.
“It doesn’t faze me in the least. If they think they are insulting me or irritating me by doing so, they are wrong. By the way, I see nothing wrong with people having nicknames,” Abrahamyan replied, adding that it was better if people had childhood nicknames than the fake monikers of various sponsors and owners of the press.
Abrahamyan explained that his nickname stems from a childhood incident where he ate half a bowl of Christmas candy. “My grandma, realizing I ate the candy, laughed and called me the mouse of the house,” he said.
The prime minister confessed that nothing could be hidden from him because he gets into every nook and cranny and locates what he wants – candy.