There is a new richest person in Russia, after a year of luck for the lucky ones in the country.
IIt has been a good year for the ultra-rich in Russia. Despite a weakened ruble and the threat of US sanctions threatening the country’s economy, Russia’s billionaire class has grown to 117 tycoons (up from 99 last year) for a collective value of $ 584 billion (down from $ 385 billion).
More than a third of the earnings come from just ten billionaires. The ten richest Russians are worth $ 223 billion in 2021 Forbes List of billionaires in the world, against 152 billion dollars in 2020. Each of them is richer than a year ago.
The richest is Alexey Mordashov, whose shares in publicly traded steel and mining company Severstal and private gold operator NordGold rose as Russia recovered from the Covid crash in early 2020. Mordashov and his family are worth 29, $ 1 billion, $ 12.3 billion more than a year ago.
The richest and second richest Russians of last year – Vladimir Potanin and Vladimir Lisin – each lost one place, second and third respectively. Potanin is $ 7.3 billion richer this year, thanks to a 37% rise in the share price of metals giant Nornickel, of which he is chairman. Lisin is also richer, up $ 8.1 billion as shares of Novolipetsk Steel, which he chairs, climbed 110%.
Mikhail Fridman, who controls investment firms Alfa Group and LetterOne, and steel and nickel billionaire Roman Abramovich have fallen into the country’s top 10 this year, despite both adding to their fortunes.
They were overtaken by two big winners: Pavel Durov and Suleiman Kerimov. Durov, the founder of the Telegram messaging app, is now the ninth richest, worth an estimated $ 17.2 billion. Telegram topped 500 million monthly users earlier this year as people flocked to the privacy-focused app amid unpopular changes to compete with WhatsApp. Suleiman Kerimov takes 10th place in Russia. He and his family are worth around $ 15.8 billion thanks to their 76% stake in Russia’s largest gold producer, Polyus; its shares are up 73% from last year’s listing.
Here are the 10 richest people in Russia; net values were calculated using stock prices and exchange rates from March 5, 2021:
# 1 | Alexey Mordashov and his family
NET VALUE: $ 29.1 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: STEEL, INVESTMENTS
The son of two Soviet steel workers, Mordashov is the majority shareholder of the steel company Severstal, where he was CEO for 19 years until his resignation in 2015. The stock is up 72% since the listing of the company. last year, helping to propel Mordashov from the fourth richest Russian to the richest person in the country.
# 2 | Vladimir Potanin
NET VALUE: $ 27 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: METALS
Potanin is credited with being the author of the controversial “loan-for-equity” program that helped politically connected Russians take control of state-owned enterprises during the country’s privatization in the 1990s. Most of his wealth is now managed in its 35% stake in Moscow-listed palladium and nickel producer Nornickel.
# 3 | Vladimir Lisin
NET VALUE: $ 26.2 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: STEEL, TRANSPORT
Lisin began working for a group of traders who came to dominate Russia’s aluminum and steel exports. When the partners separated in 2000, Lisin obtained a majority stake in Novolipetsk Steel, which is listed on the Russian stock exchange.
# 4 | Vagit Alekperov
NET VALUE: $ 24.9 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: OIL
Alekperov, a former worker at the Caspian Sea oil rigs, became deputy minister overseeing the oil industry in the Soviet Union before taking three large state-controlled oil fields and installing Lukoil in the years 1990. He owns around 30% of the listed oil giant.
# 4 | Leonid Mikhelson
NET VALUE: $ 24.9 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: GAS, CHEMICALS
Mikhelson is a partner with Gennady Timchenko of natural gas producer Novatek and petrochemical company Sibur. He started his career as a foreman for a construction company working on a gas pipeline in the Russian Tyumen region.
# 6 | Gennady Timchenko
NET VALUE: $ 22 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: PETROLEUM GAS
Timchenko holds stakes in gas company Novatek and petrochemical producer Sibur Holding, alongside his partner Mikhelson. He is said to have close ties to President Vladimir Putin.
# 7 | Alisher usmanov
NET VALUE: $ 18.4 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: STEEL, TELECOM, INVESTMENTS
Usmanov made his first fortune producing plastic bags, a scarce commodity in the former Soviet Union. He was an early investor in Facebook and Chinese electronics company Xiaomi, but his biggest asset is a 49% stake in iron ore and steel giant Metalloinvest.
# 8 | Andrey Melnichenko
NET VALUE: $ 17.9 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: COAL, FERTILIZER
Melnichenko’s first trading venture was a chain of exchange booths started in the 1990s. Today, he owns stakes in fertilizer producer Eurochem and in coal energy company SUEK.
# 9 | Pavel Durov
NET VALUE: $ 17.2 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: TELEGRAM
Known as Zuckerberg of Russia, Durov founded social network VK at age 22 and cashed before creating the Telegram messaging app in 2013. He has funded it ever since, but now plans to monetize the famous free and respectful app. of privacy.
# 10 | Suleiman Kerimov and his family
NET VALUE: $ 15.8 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: INVESTMENTS
A trained economist, Kerimov made a career of investing in troubled companies in Russia – until big bets on investment banks just before the 2008 financial crisis cost him billions. He bounced back by betting on Polyus, Russia’s biggest gold producer.