Russia's richest gain $29bn since Trump election win

By bne IntelliNews January 10, 2017

Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs, many of whom are regarded as being tied in close to the Kremlin, gained $29bn since the election of Donald Trump as US president owing to the rising value of Russian stocks and the national currency, according to calculations of Forbes magazine published on January 10.

The study notes that Russia’s business elite gained more since Trump’s victory in November than the combined gains of billionaires in any country besides the United States.

Forbes counts more than six times as many US billionaires as Russian billionaires, but “while the Americans have boosted their net worth by an average of 2.8% since the election, the richest Russians have increased their fortunes by an average of 7.1%”,  the magazine wrote.

The biggest winners include US-sanctioned Gennady Timchenko, who saw the value of his estimated 23% stake in natural gas producer Novatek go up by $1.8bn. “Today much of Timchenko’s $15.1 billion fortune is privately held and therefore more difficult to track on a daily basis than his shares of Novatek,” Forbes notes.

Fellow Novatek shareholder Leonid Mikhelson gained an estimated $1.9bn to take his net worth to $18.2bn. Forbes reminds that Mikhelson and Timchenko are also both invested alongside billionaire Kirill Shamalov, who is reportedly Vladimit Putin’s son-in-law, in petrochemical giant Sibur.

Vagit Alekperov, head of Russia’s largest private oil company Lukoil gained $1.8bn, with shares of his company gaining 8% after the Opec output cut deal in late November, extending the gain for Lukoil shares to 59% for 2016 overall.

Steel magnates Alexey Mordashov (Severstal) and Vladimir Lisin (NLMK) are named as other big gainers, adding $1.6bn and $1.4bn to their respective fortunes since the US election, with “roughly $830 million of Lisin’s gain came within three days of Trump’s victory”.

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