Nasdaq-Listed Freedom Holding And Its CEO Timor Turlov Refute Accusations Of The Short-Sellers!

Freedom Finance founder and CEO Timur Turlov
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The short-seller Hindenburg Research accuses Freedom Holding, a Nasdaq-listed financial services company headquartered in Kazakhstan, of a litany of fraudulent and illegal activity. Freedom dismisses the allegations as conjectural and lacking evidence. CEO Timur Turlov, 35, informed Reuters that the firm would retain its non-sanctioned Russian clientele. Turlov, 35, has been on Forbes’ billionaires list since 2021, worth an estimated $3.2 billion.

The short-seller Hindenburg Research, known for its confrontations with magnates like Carl Icahn and Gautam Adani, claims its investigation into Freedom reveals the company’s ongoing operations in Russia and a blatant disregard for sanctions. One former senior executive told Hindenburg that Russian money laundering was rampant. Freedom, listed on Nasdaq, refuted these claims.

Timur Turlov emphasized that the company had transparently shared its dealings with sanctioned clients during multiple reviews by Kazakhstan’s financial oversight body over the past year.”We are stringent about not associating with sanctioned clients. However, if an existing client gets sanctioned, we either freeze their assets or sever our relationship,” Turlov clarified. He further added, “Russians form a minor portion of our clientele. We meticulously scrutinize all operations. Both over-compliance and under-compliance can be detrimental when adhering to sanctions. Over-regulation doesn’t always align with OFAC’s objectives and can lead to misinterpretations.

Turlov is one of the wealthiest men in Kazakhstan, despite being sanctioned by Ukraine for his financial ties to Russia.

OFAC, or the Office of Foreign Assets Control, is a U.S. entity instrumental in imposing a series of Western sanctions against Russia, especially after its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Hindenburg‘s findings suggest potential “indications of fabricated revenue” and evidence of Freedom‘s alleged evasion of sanctions.

Freedom Holding stock price stumbled over Hindenburg Reserach short-seller attack

There are also hints of market manipulation concerning its investments and stock. Following the release of the Hindenburg Research report, Freedom‘s stock value plummeted, reaching a seven-month low. Despite this, Turlov confirmed that the company has no intention of withdrawing its Nasdaq listing.

Freedom‘s subsidiaries specialize in retail securities brokerage, market-making, and investment banking. The company also owns a bank and two insurance firms in Kazakhstan. In February 2023, post Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Freedom finalized the sale of its Russian assets for an estimated $140 million. The company then announced its complete withdrawal from Russian business operations.

With no remaining assets in Russia, Turlov mentioned that Freedom aims to serve Russian clients in a manner similar to Western banks. Currently, Freedom is exploring opportunities to introduce banking and brokerage services in Turkey and Azerbaijan. Additionally, the company is keen on expanding its presence in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, as shared by Turlov.

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