President Vladimir Putin’s former wife owns shares in one of Russia’s top 10 microfinance providers, according to an investigation published by the Sobesednik news website Wednesday.
A woman named Lyudmila Shkrebneva (Putina’s maiden name) allegedly bought a 7% stake in microlender CarMoney last year through a company she solely controls, Sobesednik reported.
“After Shkrebneva (Putin’s ex and currently Ocheretnaya) became the beneficiary of CarMoney, the startup’s business went uphill,” the news site reported.
Sobesednik wrote that CarMoney, Russia’s sixth-largest microlender, turned its first profit in late 2018 and posted a record profit in early 2019.
The Moscow-based rating agency Expert RA estimates that CarMoney’s portfolio has grown by 30% over the past year to reach 2.6 billion rubles ($40.5 million).
The Meduza news website, however, said it was unable to reconstruct the intricate ownership network of companies linking Shkrebneva to the Cyprus-based offshore company that fully owns CarMoney.