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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

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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