In 2023, the number of billionaires in the world and the size of their fortunes have decreased. But not in Russia – there both the number of Russian super-rich and the value of their assets have increased, the Russian edition of Forbes magazine reported.
For a year war in Ukraine the number of Russian billionaires increased from 88 to 110, and their wealth from 353 to 505 billion dollars. Of the 110 richest Russians included in this year’s Forbes Billionaires List, 46 are sanctioned by the European Union, USA and Great Britain, according to the independent Moscow Times portal.
The increase in the number of billionaires in Russia
The richest Russian and at the same time the 58th richest man in the world is now Andrei Melnichenko, whose fortune has more than doubled in a year, to USD 25.2 billion. It was possible thanks to the increase in the value of EuroChem – a concern founded by him dealing in the production of artificial fertilisers. After the start of the war on Ukraine This sector of the Russian economy has recorded impressive growth – comments “Forbes”. Melnichenko is also the founder of the SUEK concern dealing with coal mining.
Second among Russian billionaires was Vladimir Potanin, who made his fortune from nickel mining and operations in the financial industry. The third – Vladimir Lisin, controlling NLMK – one of the largest Russian steel-producing enterprises.
Unlike Melnichenko, who is richer than before the war, the fortunes of Potanin and Lisin have not yet returned to 2021 levels, Moscow Times writes. In 2021, the cumulative wealth of Russian billionaires was $606 billion.
Impressive Russian estates facing sanctions
One of the reasons for the increase in the number and wealth of Russian billionaires in this year’s edition of the ranking is that the list in 2022 was created in early March, just after the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine began, explains “Forbes”. Russian stocks were then suspended, the ruble collapsed, and Russia’s central bank’s official economic forecasts were worse than later results, the magazine said.
Although in 2022, the Russian economy shrank by 2.1 percent. and lost as a result of the sanctions imposed on it, commodity prices on world markets were still high, and the fortunes of the Russian super-rich depend on them, the Moscow Times notes.
Meanwhile, the number of billionaires in the world has fallen from 2,668 in 2022 to 2,640 in 2023; their combined wealth decreased by $500 billion to $12.2 trillion – according to the American biweekly’s annual list published in April.
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