Russian Billionaires Double Their Wealth

The number of Russian billionaires has increased nearly two-fold in the past year, from 32 to 62 people. The top ten of Forbes’s “golden hundred” whose wealth grew most dynamically, made $70 billion more than last year. Total wealth of 100 wealthiest Russians has also increased two-fold, to $297 billion.

The first list of Russian billionaires was published by Forbes in 2004. Then the leaders were Mikhail Khodorkovsky ($15.2 billion) and Roman Abramovich ($12.5 billion).

"The 2009 results were closer to the results of 2006. Three years ago the number of billionaires in Forbes rating was 60 people, which is almost identical to the results of the new list," says Forbes.

In Forbes 2008 rating no one was able to overcome the barrier of $10 billion. The wealth of the rich Russians reduced significantly under the influence of the crisis. The leader of the list was Mikhail Prokhorov with $9.5 billion.

Last year the winner of billionaires race Vladimir Lisin, the main shareholder of NLMK with $15.8 billion, secured an annual gain of $10 billion. The leader of the last year rating Mikhail Prokhorov, President of Oneksim group, took the second place with $13.4 billion. Mikhail Fridman with the Alfa Group Consortium is currently the 2nd richest man in Russia with an estimated fortune of $12.7 billion.

The second place in terms of growth (+$8.2 billion) is taken by Vladimir Potanin, head of Interros. Ten entrepreneurs have grown their riches by no less than $5 billion. In terms of the percentage ratio, Igor Zyuzin, the main shareholder of Mechel finished the year better than the others. According to Forbes estimate his capital grew 5.4 times, to $6.4 billion.

In 2009, Vladimir Potanin, Victor Rashnikov, Oleg Deripaska, Mikhail Fridman, Vladimir Yevtushenko, Aleksey Mordashev, Alisher Usmanov and some others have also improved their finances. "The list of Russian billionaires has increased that significantly because of the return of those who disappeared last year due to the collapse of raw materials prices and housing market,” Luisa Kroll, chief editor of the special billionaires’ issue of Forbes explained.

There are 11 new names in 2010 list compared to four last year. In 2008, on the peak of stock market, there were 17 first timers on the list. Among the newcomers are Samvel Karapetyan, a Moscow developer, and brothers Boris and Arcady Rotenberg. The best result among the rookies – 70th place – is held by Dmitry Mazepin, former top manager of Sibur and current co-owner of Uralkhim. Forbes mentions that this is the first time since 2004 when Boris Berezovsky has not made the list.

According to Forbes, the number of dollar billionaires in the world has increased and now exceeds 1,000 people. According to Forbes estimates, the wealthiest person in the world is Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim who took the place of Bill Gates. Slim’s wealth is estimated at $53.5 billion.

The second place is occupied by Bill Gates with $53 billion. The third place is taken by the most popular world investor Warren Buffet who was number two last year. His wealth is estimated at $47 billion.

The total wealth of 10 wealthiest people has increased to $342 billion within a year. A year ago the number was $254 billion, which is $3.5 billion on average for every person who has made it to the rating. This is $500 million more than last year.

It is worth mentioning that the listed number of billionaires has increased from 793 to 1011. This shows that the crisis has not affected the very top.

Boris Yaremenko

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov