In many countries the business interests of politicians are a required public disclosure. In Armenia such things are still very secretive. The business interests of the supporters of political parties, and the business interests of criminals or alleged criminals, are rarely exposed in any country.
I propose that this thread will give information on the persons who own or operate prominant business or public sector institutions in Armenia. In most cases this sort of information leaks out only as a side issue to some other story, so the information needs to be collected into one list.
Here are some recent examples:
MP Aragatz Akhoyan of the Prosperous Armenia party owns the construction company "Spitak Kamar" (White Arch). (September 1, 2011 "Company of Prosperous Armenia Party MP Wins School Contract" http://hetq.am/eng/news/3993/ )
MP Samvel Aleksanyan owns the "Yerevan City" chain of supermarkets (August 17, 2011 "Expired Children's Oatmeal Sold at Yerevan City Supermarket" http://hetq.am/eng/articles/3631/ ) and "Aleks Grig", an importation company that has a near monopoly of sugar importation into Armenia (controls 99% of the domestic market) (August 23, 2011 "MP Samvel Aleksanyan: Armenia's Sugar Baron Sets the Price" http://hetq.am/eng/news/3795/ ). Aleksanyan apparently rarely attends the National Assembly (http://hetq.am/eng/articles/1912/ ).
MP Tigran Arzakantsyan co-owns (with RA National Assembly President Hovik Abrahamyan) "Paramount Gold Mining Ltd". ( "Parliament Prez and MP Get Lucrative Mining License" http://hetq.am/eng/articles/960/) Arzakantsyan also owns a cognac factory in France, a company named "Almaz", and a luxury villa in Paris ("Armenian MP Owns Posh Paris Villa" http://hetq.am/eng/articles/1635/ ). Arzakantsyan also co-owns "Spice Steel Armenia" (with the son of MP Vardan Ayvazyan, Minister of Nature Protection) (http://hetq.am/eng/opinion/161/ ). He isa major shareholder in "Bounty Resources Armenia" - it recently made $24 million from the sale of three mines in Tatev to the Chinese (http://hetq.am/eng/articles/628/ ). Tigran Arzakantsyan holds more than ten mining licenses in Armenia (http://hetq.am/eng/articles/960/). Several businesses are also registered under his wife's name (http://hetq.am/eng/articles/2011/ ). Arzakantsyan also apparently rarely attends the National Assembly having been absent from 1,371 out of 1,630 parliament sessions. Has unspecified business interests with Edik Arzakantsyan (a relation?) from the town of Gavar. Another resident of Gavar, Karen Sargsyan, has sent emails threatening violence to HETQ staff if they continue to publish information about Tigran Arzakantsyan (Arzakantsyan Supporters - Stop Writing About the "King" http://hetq.am/eng/articles/2452/ ). Arzakantsyan won 20,000 AMD in damages, plus costs, after he was descrbed in the newspaper Yerkir as a "lakot" (loosely translated as “street urchin” or “riff-raff” - http://hetq.am/eng/news/1932/).
MP Hovik Abrahamyan, as mentioned earlier, co-owns Paramount Gold Mining with MP Tigran Arzakantsyan . In 2010 it received a 25-year licence for the Meghradzor mine in Kotayk Marz, and in 2011 got a license for the Lousajur section at the Meghradzor gold mines. Argam Abrahamyan, Hovik's son, owns Argamik Ltd., a company registered in the village of Mkhchyan. It has an exploratory license for the copper and molybdenum mine in the Vayots Dzor village of Yelpin.
The son of MP Vardan Ayvazyan, Souren Ayvazyan, as mentioned earlier co-owns Spice Steel Armenia" with MP Tigran Arzakantsyan. He also owns 28% of "Nagin Ltd", the remaining is owned by "Caspian Bounty Steel Ltd." - it operates iron mines in the Armenian towns of Abovyan, Hrazdan and Svarants. Caspian Bounty Steel Ltd. is a subsidiary of "Bounty Resources Armenia". Bounty Resources Armenia owns the iron mines, and is owned by MP Vardan Ayvazyan, MP Tigran Arzakantsyan, and other unknown shareholders. (February 7, 2011 "Who’s Minding Armenia’s Natural Resources?" http://hetq.am/eng/articles/628/ - Note the reader's comment saying that the hidden shareholders may be Robert Kocharian or Serge Sarkissian). On January 12 2011, the Chinese company "Fortune Oil" purchased 35 % of Bounty Resources Armenia for the price of $24 million.