The FINANCIAL — According to RIA Novosti, Mikhail Prokhorov, the president of Onexim Group, has been ranked by Russia's Finans magazine as the richest of the Russian super-rich, with an estimated wealth of $14.1 billion in 2008.
"Today, Mikhail Prokhorov is nearly the most promoted Russian businessman. While his colleagues are frantically searching for refinancing possibilities, he buys the world's most expensive villa on the Cote d'Azur for $496 million and invests millions in the development of biathlon," the magazine said in Monday's edition.
The Finans (Finance) survey put Roman Abramovich, the former governor of Chukotka and the owner of Chelsea Football Club, in second place with $13.9 billion – $9 billion less than the year before.
But the biggest loser was Oleg Deripaska, the owner of the Basic Element holding company that includes aluminum giant RusAl among its assets. The country's richest man for two years, Deripaska was ranked only eighth with $4.9 billion, a decline of 90% from his $40 billion fortune in 2007.
The global financial crisis has slashed the total wealth of Russia's top 10 billionaires by two-thirds to $75.9 billion in the last 12 months, the magazine said. The total number Russia's billionaires has halved to 49 from 101.
This time last year, billionaires needed $15 billion to join the list of Russia's top 10 richest people. That figure has now fallen to $4.5 billion, Finans said.