MOSCOW, April 19 (RIA Novosti)
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Russian mining magnate Alisher Usmanov has become Russia’s wealthiest businessman according to the 2012 Rich List published by the Russian edition of Forbes magazine on Thursday.
Usmanov, the owner of Metalloinvest metals giant and a major shareholder in London's Arsenal Football Club, has climbed to the top spot from the fifth place, after increasing his wealth from $17.7 billion last year to $18.1 billion.
He overtook Vladimir Lisin, the owner of Novolipetsk Steel firm, who had held the first place in the past two years but has now fallen to the second spot with his wealth falling from $24 billion to $15.9 billion.
Alexei Mordashov, the main shareholder and CEO of Severstal steel giant, ranks third in the Forbes Rich list with $15.3 billion.
Mikhail Prokhorov, former presidential candidate in the March elections and owner of Onexim Group, has dropped from the third to seventh place as his wealth has contracted from $18 billion to $12.4 billion.
Over the year, the number of dollar-denominated billionaires fell by five to 96. The aggregate wealth of Russia’s top 200 entrepreneurs amounted to $446.3 billion in 2012 ($498.6 billion in 2011).
The average age of Russia’s richest entrepreneurs is 50. The youngest "billionaire" is Deni Bazhayev aged 16 who ranks 127th with a fortune of $750 million. The eldest is Vladislav Tetyukhin aged 79 who ranks 153rd with $650 million.
Russia’s billionaire entrepreneurs mostly reside in Moscow (145 people) and St. Petersburg (13).
The other top ten Russian businessman include Vladimir Potanin, owner of Interros investment company, who ranks fourth with wealth of $14.5 billion. He is followed by Vagit Alekperov, key shareholder and CEO of LUKoil oil firm with $13.5 billion, Mikhail Fridman, owner of Alfa Group, with $13.4 billion.
Viktor Vekselberg, owner of Renova Group, ranks eighth with $12.4 billion, Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club, holds the ninth spot with $12.1 billion and Leonid Mikhelson, a key shareholder of Novatek gas company, comes tenth with $11.9 billion.
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.