Oligarchs Assets

Russian Firm Forus Transfers 60% Stake in Uzbek Gas Storage to Hong Kong Entity

A mysterious Russian firm has shifted its controlling interest in Uzbekistan’s primary underground gas storage site to a Hong Kong-based holding company. This move coincides with Tashkent’s efforts to block sanctioned entities’ access to the Uzbek banking system, as reported by Kun.uz and Podrobno.uz.

Russian Firm Forus

According to reports from media outlets, the Uzbekistan corporate records database indicates that a 60% ownership stake in the Gazli storage project now belongs to Daxon Holdings, a Hong Kong-registered company. Previously, the majority share was held by Russia’s Forus. Forus, in collaboration with Uzbek state gas transmission operator Uztransgaz, which owns the remaining 40%, has been involved in expanding the Gazli storage capacity from 6 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 10 bcm since 2018.

According to public records in Hong Kong, Daxon Holdings was established as a limited liability company in 2019. The exact timing of the shareholder transfer remains uncertain based on information from the Uzbek corporate records database.

Reports from Russian media outlets last year implied that Forus might be indirectly managed by a trustee representing a Russian oligarch ( Bakhtiyor Fozilov ) extensively sanctioned by the US for purported ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the aggressor in the Ukraine conflict.

In mid-February, Uzbekistan’s parliament passed a draft law prohibiting Uzbek banks from providing accounts to individuals and entities targeted by sanctions. This legislation is subject to potential amendments before final approval.

Recent reports from Uzbek media indicate that the government plans to allocate $500 million toward expanding capacity in its natural gas transportation system. This investment aims to facilitate a substantial increase in gas imports from Russia.

Given Uzbekistan’s insufficient gas reserves to meet growing annual demand, the country began importing gas from Russia in October. Under a two-year agreement with Gazprom, Uzbekistan currently imports 9 million cubic meters of gas daily.

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