From the Financial Times:
One of the world’s largest oil traders has been drawn into the political confrontation over Ukraine after the US Treasury slapped sanctions on Gennady Timchenko, co-founder of Gunvor. The US also claimed Russian president Vladimir Putin had a personal investment in the company.Gunvor announced that Mr Timchenko sold his 43 per cent stake in the group to co-founder Torbjorn Tornqvist a day earlier as a “contingency” measure. Mr Tornqvist now has an 87 per cent stake, with the remainder owned by employees.But what is Gunvor?
The trading house was founded by Mr Timchenko and Mr Tornqvist in 2000, although the two men began working together trading Russian oil in 1997.
● Gunvor currently trades 2.1m barrels a day, equivalent to the consumption of France, making it the world’s fourth-largest oil trader behind Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura.
● The company has risen from being a niche player a decade ago to one of the world’s largest independent oil trading companies. Revenues surged from $5bn in 2004 to $93bn in 2012. Its rapid growth has been mirrored by competitors such as Trafigura and Mercuria, which also rode the commodities boom of the 2000s to become titans of the trading industry.
Also at the FT: