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Usmanov Remains Russia's Richest Man

Published: January 8, 2014 (Issue # 1792)



  • Alisher Usmanov at the 2013 World Fencing Championships in Budapest.
    Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikicommons

Alisher Usmanov retained his title as Russia's richest businessman in 2013 with a net worth of $20.2 billion, according to a Bloomberg ranking of the world's 200 wealthiest people. Usmanov qualified as the world's 36th richest person in the ranking, which also saw 10 other Russian moguls qualify for the list.

That statistic put Russia in second place in terms of countries with the most billionaires, second only to the U.S., which topped the list by a wide margin of 37 billionaires out of the top 100.

Usmanov, whose fortune grew by $1.3 billion last year, built up his fortune through successful investments in iron ore producers, telecommunication companies, and internet firms like Facebook and Twitter. He served a spell in prison in Uzbekistan in the 1980s, but was cleared of the charges in 2000 by Uzbekistan's Supreme Court on grounds that the accusations against him had been false.

According to an earlier ranking by Forbes magazine, Usmanov also qualified as Russia's most charitable businessman, with about $150 million worth of donations in 2012, for which he was awarded one of Russia's highest civil awards in recognition of his philanthropic activities by President Vladimir Putin in July 2013.

Co-owner of retail chain Magnit Sergei Galitsky was named the most successful Russian businessman last year having earned $5.3 billion which brought his combined assets to $13.8 billion.

Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates kept his top ranking as the world's richest person. He earned $15.8 billion last year bringing his total wealth to $78.5 billion. Microsoft shares increased in value by 40 percent in 2013.

Gates thereby toppled Mexican media magnate Carlos Slim, who had held the ranking's top position until May, Bloomberg said.

Brazilian businessman Eike Batista, whose oil company OGX filed for bankruptcy in October, won the dubious honor of having suffered the greatest financial loss during the year. Batista's net worth declined more than $12 billion, causing him to lose his ranking as the world's eighth richest person.

Last year was one of the best for the world's 300 richest people, who saw their combined assets grow $524 billion to a staggering $3.7 trillion, Bloomberg Billionaire's Index said.

Analysts believe that the new year will look equally bright for the super-wealthy.

"The rich will get even richer in 2014," the founder of real estate and energy conglomerate, Red Apple Group, John Catsimatidis said.

"Loan rates will stay low, the share market will continue to grow, [annual] economic growth will be about 2 percent," he predicted.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of “Treasure Island,” visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russia’s “Russian Knights” stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during today’s Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the center’s Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonight’s performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Center’s Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodina’s website for more details.



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