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2 Apr, 2024 19:00

Russia has record number of billionaires – Forbes

Former head of energy giant Lukoil, Vagit Alekperov, topped the list in 2023
Russia has record number of billionaires – Forbes

The collective net worth of Russia’s richest persons has soared by $72 billion over the past year to $577 billion, despite unprecedented sanctions pressure, according to Forbes annual World’s Billionaires List.

Vagit Alekperov, former president of Russian oil giant Lukoil, leads the latest ranking as the richest Russian businessman on the list. The 73-year-old’s fortune has reportedly risen from $20.5 billion to $28.6 billion over the past year.

In 2022, Alekperov stepped down as chief executive officer of Russia’s second-largest oil producer, a post he’d held for nearly three decades. The move came after the billionaire was hit by UK and Australian sanctions as part of the West’s Ukraine-related penalties on Moscow.

Alekperov came in 59th place globally on the Forbes list. He took first place in the Russia rating from currently seventh-placed Andrey Melnichenko, who made his fortune in enterprises such as production of fertilizer and coal mining, and whose net worth fell to $21.1 billion from $25.2 billion.

Leonid Mikhelson, a co-owner of Russia’s second-largest natural gas producer Novatek, came in second, with his wealth increasing by $5.8 billion to $27.4 billion.

Vladimir Lisin, the majority shareholder of Russia’s NLMK steel company, was once again ranked as the third-richest Russian businessman. His fortune rose by $4.5 billion to $20.8 billion during the year.

The top ten also included the chairman of steel giant Severstal Alexey Mordashov ($25.5 billion), the owner of mining giant Norilsk Nickel Vladimir Potanin ($23.7 billion), Telegram CEO Pavel Durov ($15.5 billion), co-owner of mobile operator Megafon Alisher Usmanov ($13.4 billion), and the founder of Russia’s biggest privately owned lender, Alfa Bank, Mikhail Fridman ($13.1 billion).

The number of Russian billionaires rose by 15 over the past year to 125, according to Forbes.