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Russia reunites with 'Club of 100' billionaires

In 2022, Russia's biggest fortunes swelled by some $152 billion.

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Russia reunites with 'Club of 100' billionaires

In 2022, Russia's biggest fortunes swelled by some $152 billion. According to Forbes Russia, which publishes its annual ranking this Saturday, this increase is due to the high prices of natural resources, thus erasing the enormous losses suffered after the start of the war in Ukraine and international sanctions. Now, Russia officially has 110 billionaires, 22 more than last year. The magazine specifies that their total fortune has increased from 353 billion dollars to 505 billion dollars. Forbes notes, however, that the list would have been longer if five billionaires - Yuri Milner, founder of DST Global, Nikolay Storonsky, founder of Revolut, Timur Turlov, founder of Freedom Finance, and Sergei Dmitriev and Valentin Kipyatkov, co-founders of JetBrains - had not renounced their Russian citizenship. Before the start of the war, the total wealth of Russian billionaires amounted to 606 billion dollars.

Andrei Melnichenko, who made his fortune in fertilizers, was listed by Forbes as the richest man in Russia, with a value of $25.2 billion, more than double that estimated last year. The second is Vladimir Potanin, chairman and major shareholder of Nornickel, the world's largest producer of palladium and refined nickel. His fortune is estimated at $23.7 billion. Finally, Vladimir Lisin, who controls the steelmaker NLMK, was ranked third on the Forbes Russia list with a fortune of $22.1 billion. Last year, Vladimir Lisin was on the top step of the Forbes Russia podium. Among the new Russian names are billionaires who have made money in fast food, supermarkets, chemicals, construction and pharmaceuticals, showing that Russian domestic demand has remained strong despite sanctions .

The Russian economy, however, contracted by 2.1% in 2022 under the pressure of Western sanctions, but it was able to sell oil, metals and other natural resources on the world markets, in particular in China, in India and the Middle East. Ural oil prices, the engine of Russia's economy, averaged $76.09 a barrel in 2022, down from $69 in 2021. Fertilizer prices were also high last year . This month, the International Monetary Fund raised its growth forecast for Russia in 2023 from 0.3% to 0.7%, but lowered its forecast for 2024 from 2.1% to 1.3%, saying that he also expected labor shortages and the exodus of Western companies to hurt the country's economy.

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