30 November 2021, Tuesday, 2:22
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Belarus' Once Most Successful Syrian Businessman Goes Bankrupt

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Belarus' Once Most Successful Syrian Businessman Goes Bankrupt

In 1994, he set up the Kravira company together with some fellow countrymen.

Kravira, which was founded and run by Youssef Nedal Amin, went into liquidation a few years ago. His former partners have recently initiated bankruptcy proceedings against him as a sole proprietorship, writes ej.by.

According to the case materials, the Ram-Global company-developer applied to the court to initiate a procedure to recognize Youssef Nedal Amin as an individual entrepreneur economically unsound. Based on the application, insolvency proceedings were initiated against the once most successful Syrian businessman in Belarus in September. The first court proceeding will take place early this December. The managing body is now collecting claims from creditors.

Youssef Nedal Amin is one of the brightest figures of Belarusian business in the 1990s and 2000s. He studied in Minsk during the Soviet era and in 1994, together with several fellow countrymen (Youssef Nedal Amin became head of the Syrian community in Belarus) who also studied in the Belarusian capital, created Kravira.

It became a major player in several niches. In particular, Kravira managed the Palace clubs and casino and invested in the country's first pizza chain, Zio Pepe. In the second half of the 1990s, Syrian, with the support of the former President's office manager Ivan Titenkov, was engaged in the forestry business. In the early 2000s, he was among the first to focus on real estate investments - commercial and residential.

In the 2000s, Kravira, headed by Youssef Nedal Amin, aspired to become one of the key players in this market. A production base was set up in Zhodino. Kravira started buying land for residential and commercial real estate in Minsk, Grodno, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Bobruisk, and other cities of the country. But the scale ruined the business. The fall of Kravira's construction business began in 2011. State authorities began delivering numerous claims against the businessman. In the end, the company only completed the office centre on Klara Zetkin Street (Kravira City). For a while, VTB Bank headquarters were located there. Kravira bankruptcy proceedings started late in 2014. The liquidation of the company ended in 2018.

By the time Kravira's problems began, Youssef Nedal Amin, along with other Belarusian Syrians (Salloum Imad Issa, Al Hamsho Taher Muhammad and others), had become involved in another project - the construction of a business centre next to Kravira City, to be called Ram.

Initially, this plot of land was also allocated to Kravira. It was planned to build there an elite five-star hotel, a shopping complex and a 50-storey business centre. Belarusian Syrians attracted an investor - Jordanian Akram Yakob Salim Beiruti and entered a joint company Beiruti Global and Partners for Construction and Development.

But the Jordanian had financial problems, and he (and gradually the Syrians) were replaced as investors by the owners of the family-run Lebanese company Khoury Group for Investment. It is the Khoury family as well as Haddad Sanaa who now own the existing Ram Business Centre, which is operated by Ram-Global.

According to the MoJ, Youssef Nedal Amin was first the manager of Ram-Global as a sole proprietorship during 2013-2018 and then served as its manager as an individual for a few months in 2018.