But keep your money separate... Why the giant of Belarusian economy BelAZ is losing profit in Russia

But keep your money separate... Why the giant of Belarusian economy BelAZ is losing  profit in Russia
But keep your money separate... Why the giant of Belarusian economy BelAZ is losing profit in Russia
6 July 2020, 11:46EconomyPhoto: БЕЛАЗ
BelAZ, one of the giants of the Belarusian industry, which is a “donor” of the state budget, is losing money in its main sales market - in Russia. And the problem is not in the global crisis or in any political trends. Details you may find in the article of Novye Izvestia.

Ivan Petrovsky

It is worth recalling that BelAZ still accounts for 30% of the world market for the particularly heavy-duty mining dump trucks. Belarusian equipment is delivered to eighty countries of the world, including even distant Australia. It is probably no coincidence that the Minister of Economy of Belarus heads the Supervisory Board of the BelAZ holding, which provides jobs and stable salaries to thousands and thousands of workers and their families, not to mention significant deductions into the state budget.

However, in recent years, the pride of Belarusian engineering has been facing a difficult financial situation. On the one hand, the company must pay tens of millions of dollars on loans of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Belarusian banks, and on the other hand, truck production and sales are falling. In addition, debts on payments to the National Development Fund have accumulated. In November last year, production fell almost twice - by 43.7%. Apparently, the fall will continue. The economist of the enterprise, Alexander Yaroshuk, explains that the customers began to buy dump trucks less both in the far and near abroad, and also in Russia, whose market was the main one - two-thirds of all produced BelAZs were meant for Russia. “It was the only market we had hoped for during a quarter of the century”, - says Yaroshuk.

It is clear that in such a situation, one of the decisive factors for the enterprise is relations with the dealers and the opportunity to receive money for delivered products in a timely and full manner. And here BelAZ has obvious problems.

In accordance with the scheme for selling products in Russia approved by BelAZ OJSC, all the equipment is first sold to the distributor - BelAZ Trading House JSC, which subsequently sells it to 10 official BelAZ dealers, and they sell it to the ultimate buyers. A buyer in Russia may purchase BelAZ production equipment only from his authorized dealer. An official dealer is obliged to report annually to the manufacturer about its financial and material and technical condition.

JSC Trading House BelAZ is a Russian company - an exclusive supplier of quarry machinery manufactured by JSC BelAZ in the Russian Federation. The owners of BelAZ Trading House JSC are two Belarusian shareholders - the Republican state-public association Presidential Sports Club and BelAZ OJSC itself. The General Director of BelAZ Trading House JSC is Alexey Lyamin.

It is worth explaining that the Sports club in Minsk is headed by Dmitry Lukashenko, the son of the president of Belarus. And the choice of Alexey Lyamin's candidature for the post of the general director of the trading house could not be made without the consent and patronage of Dmitry Lukashenko.

So, what kind of problems these long-standing and trusted partners can have?

Let's not rush to conclusions.

For example, on April 14, 2020, the Moscow Arbitration Court accepted the lawsuit of a shareholder of BelAZ-24 LLC against PromUgolServis LLC, registered in Novokuznetsk. The plaintiff disputes two contracts concluded between these firms in the fall of 2016, suspecting that the company from Kuzbass could not fulfill them in any way and was, in fact, only a screen for financial fraud.

And in fact, PromUgolServis, with a staff of 4 people, did not pull in the role of a dealer with billions in turnover.

The authorized capital of this LLC is only 10,000 rubles, and in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, the sale of dump trucks was not even listed as the main type of activity, such as "wholesale trade in solid, liquid and gaseous fuels, rental of freight motor vehicles with a driver and leasing of other land vehicles and equipment. "

And besides, already at the time of the conclusion of the disputed transactions, PromUgolServis LLC had signs of insolvency (bankruptcy). The company had debts recognized by the courts for two counterparties in the amount of more than 6.5 million rubles and non-payment of tax payments of 7.4 million rubles. Creditors could not recover this money due to the complete absence of any liquid assets and financial assets in PromUgolService.

In a lawsuit in the Moscow Arbitration Court, the plaintiff rightly notes:

“With due diligence and prudence, the General Director of Belaz-24 LLC, Y. Tifus, had the opportunity to verify this information through the public service Transparent Business on the website of the Federal Tax Service of Russia https: //pb.nalog.ru/... Of all the foregoing, it follows that the impugned contracts were concluded by the Director General of Belaz-24 LLC to the detriment of the interests of the company, on the understanding that the company is suffering obvious damage as a result of conclusion and execution of transactions that the other party is obviously unable to execute"

In total, in 2016 PromUgolServis LLC received from the official dealer of Belaz24 LLC about 90 million rubles allegedly for delivery and installation supervision services for the dump truck. At the same time, Belaz24 LLC, being the official dealer of the Belarusian enterprise itself, had all the necessary material and technical resources and personnel to independently carry out such work, while PromUgolServis LLC could not perform any work, "due to the lack of personnel and technical capabilities".

Needless to say, one and a half million dollars given to the “garbage dump” from Kuzbass did not come to Belarus?

But further - more. According to BelAZ representatives, such free circulation of money is far from an isolated case in the practice of their main distributor in Russia - General Director of BelAZ Trading House Alexey Lyamin.

According to the sources of Novye Izvestia, for the period from October 2018 to May 2020 to the accounts of B-24 Mining LLC created by A. Y. Lyamin and V. Sh. Kuluyev there were transferred more than 3.5 billion rubles from the account of Belaz-24 LLC for allegedly performed overburden works under a subcontract. However, B-24 Mining LLC did not have the necessary material and technical base and personnel to carry out these kind of works. The indicated works were actually performed by the forces of Belaz-24 LLC itself.

In 2018, Belaz-24 LLC received a loan from Sberbank of Russia in the amount of 3 billion rubles. The loan repayment period is 2023. According to the experts, if A. Y. Lyamin decides to transfer money out of Belaz-24 LLC accounts it will entail the inability of the company to fulfill its loan obligations on time, thus it will ultimately lead to its bankruptcy. Bankruptcy of Belaz-24 LLC will inevitably affect its customers, which will cause a negative reaction on the entire market for sales and after-sales service of BelAZ products. In addition, as a result of bankruptcy, more than 300 employees of Belaz-24 LLC may lose work.

The source assures that, starting in 2014, when Lyamin became the head of the trading house, the composition of official dealers began to change dramatically. Suddenly, those companies in which Lyamin had his own director and his majority in the composition of the founders began to trade BelAZ equipment. As a result, the Belarusian side states: the main profit from sales did not remain with BelAZ Trading House JSC (no more than 6%), but with authorized dealers controlled by it (more than 20%). Those, in turn, transferred money to the accounts of third-party organizations under various pretexts, ostensibly for the provision of services or the performance of non-existent work.

The depletion of еру cash flows from Russia to a thin brook led to the fact that, according to the results of the last year, dividend payments also decreased. In connection with the situation prevailing in the financial and operational activities of the official dealers, their minority members, who are not under the control of Lyamin, became interested. They demanded to provide financial and other documentation on the activities of organizations over the past few years. After the refusal, one of the minority shareholders appealed to the court and received a decision obliging to provide the required documents. But the company controlled by Lyamin, apparently according to his instructions, refused to comply with the court decision.

However, there can be many more trials of various kinds in the relation of BelAZ partners. And right now it is still difficult to say what facts, amounts and firms can be made public.

We will continue to monitor the situation.

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