Global investor Robert Bassili predicts financial crisis in Armenia

15/03/2019 15:40

Global investor Robert Bassili predicts financial crisis in Armenia


Robert Bassili is a businessman, investor, philanthropist with Armenian heritage with a focus on business interests in Ukraine. He is the founder and member of the board of directors of Ramsis Capital LLC. Now Robert Bassili is in Armenia and he is in search of a suitable business for investment. In an interview with Aysor.am Mr. Bassili shares his thoughts on Armenian economy and investment opportunities.

- Mr. Bassili, this weekend within an event you made a speech and predicted a financial crisis. Did you mean the crisis in Armenia or in the world in general? You also predicted devaluation of AMD. Why do you think so?

- In 2007 there was a financial crisis because the world has too much debt․ Now 10 years later Global debt has reached a record high of $184 trillion in nominal terms. That is the equivalent of 225 percent of the world GDP in 2017, so we have better get ready for the mother load of all financial collapses ahead, US dollar will be safe haven during the crisis which will automatic devalue the AMD, but currently I think the correct pricing USD/AMD will equal 520.

- You are interested in the Armenian market and have plans for investment. In which field are you particularly interested in?

- Currently I am investigating different opportunities, our investment thesis is very specific and precise, we like business that is simple, predicable free cash flow generative, dominate, then we look to see if we can acquire part of the company at a deep discount to what’s it worth, and the discount can be because of issues, such as management, strategy, cost structure issue, hidden asset issue.

- You're planning to develop your business into a free market monopoly. Armenian new government fights any kind of monopoly performance in the market. Do you think it's not a problem?

- Globally business can be put into 2 categories: competitive business and free market monopolies, it is known that competitive business does not generate any profit and eventually go bankrupt, as an global investor, we try with my management team to create free market monopolies. Companies such as Facebook, Uber, McDonalds Coca-Cola, Apple, Microsoft understand this, so what I am talking about is not unique or controversial, its simple fact, the social impact of free market monopolies is a different discussion and this is something we are always mindful to manage.

- You are a foreign investor who worked in Ukraine, Egypt and East Europe. Why did you choose especially Armenia, why are you interested in this market - full of political and regional issues?

- Armenia has just gone through a revolution so as there is a realignment of policy and reform, so it is my belief there is some great potential for investments and human capital, our decisions are based on if we can add value to any potential investment, and this includes all stakeholders including employees.

- First time you visited Armenia in February 2018. Within a year Armenia experienced great changes. As an investor, how do you think: Is it easier to invest in the Armenian market now than before? What problems still exist?

- Yes I can see some changes, and there is signs of some momentum and confidence in the business community, I am a firm believer for the economy and citizens to prosper, then democracy will not be enough, the government along with business and investment community should support the SME ( Small Medium Enterprise ), any healthy and prosperous country backbone has a strong SME sector, so I see this as the biggest challenge and opportunity , there is certainly risks in Armenia, such as corruption, oligarchy system, underdeveloped judiciary, and unresolved Karabakh conflict as well as closed border, there will need to be solutions found.


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