Guvnor Group, a commodities trading company based in Switzerland, is looking away from Russia and towards the Middle East for new investment opportunities. It is renewing a $420 million trading facility in the region, which was arranged by AMB Amro Bank, Mideast lenders Arab Petroleum Investments Corp, Gulf International Bank, MashreqBankPSC and Emirates NBD.
The company landed into hot water when Russian co-founder Gennady Timchenko was placed under sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department. The company, because of Timchenko, was alleged to have close ties with saber-rattling Vladimir Putin. Guvnor denied connections to Putin and was never sanctioned, but the desire of the company to distance itself from Russia is understandable.
Guvnor has had success in the Middle East. It established a presence in Dubai as recently as 2011, but already, one-fifth of its oil trades originate there. Company head of structured trade finance, Tawfik Sadfi said, “Guvnor has become one of the region’s main traders and continues to expand with focus on long-term trade in the Middle East.”