Armenia Environment

Armenian Bloggers initiate boycott of Vneshtorgbank

Armenian bloggers have initiated a boycott of VTB Bank Armenia and are inviting everyone to join the action. Better known as “Savings Bank of the Republic of Armenia” (Armsavingsbank) was founded

in 1923 and was the pillar of Soviet Banking system and law obedient Soviet citizens were encouraged to hold their savings there – which was one of the reasons, why after the collapse of the USSR and downfall of the Soviet Ruble it had huge depts to Armenian citizens. In fact it ows me, personally – about 2000 Soviet Rubles. In Kocharyan era the bank was sold to Armenian oligarch of Karabakh origin – Mika Baghdasaryan for a ridiculously small amount of money, to be soon resold to Russia’s Vneshtorgbank.
The couse of blogger discontent lies in the fact, that as part of it’s bid for acquiring the Azerbaijan’s AF-Bank, VTB have forced their Armenian subsidiary to close down their branch in Nagorno-Karabakh. Clearly – this is politics intruding into business, so bloggers are urging everybody to close their accounts at VTB.
Yet another cause of the action is the fact, that VTB is providing loans to the Armenian Copper Program (ACP), which plans to clear-cut over 1,500 acres of Teghut’s forest in order to establish an
open pit strip mining operation for copper and molybdenum ore.
The bloggers are urging everyone to also write letter to VTB indicating these two as reasons for their frustration with bank’s activities, as well as avoid making utility payments via VTB, which is so far one of the prime choices for making water, electricity and communication services payments in Armenia.
The Armenian Observer blog is joining the action and is urging everyone to do so as well.
Armenia Economy Society

Gagik Tsarukyan to open world-class casino in Armenia

One of the richest Armenian businessman Gagik Tsarukyan’s Multi Group Company, in partnership with Russian Storm International has constructed the most impressive gaming facility in the region – the Shangri La Casino, which will officially open on April 16th, with the Grand Opening scheduled for May 2nd.

Via: RIA OREANDA | The complex area now is 2400 sq. m with a planned expansion of a further 800 sq.m by the end of the year. The gaming configuration for the main floor is for an initial12 tables (with the possibility to introduce more tables if required) plus a poker room for the increasingly popular game of Texas Hold `em and a multi-level slot area with 85 state-of-the-art machines. There are 3 bars, a restaurant and a fully equipped stage for show programmes and music concerts. It has a parking capacity for 100 cars.
The Grand Opening promises to be one of the most memorable events of the year. World-famous Toto Cutugno will be the headline act, along with other performers including “Blestyaschie” for the benefit of the invited guests.

There are also some unverified reports, that the Storm International have opened a special school in Armenia to prepare qualified staff for the casino business. This is a clear indication of plans to further expand the gaming industry and turn Armenia into a Caucasian Monte Carlo.