Friday, April 18, 2008

One billion dollars is chump change...

MOSCOW (Reuters) - One billion dollars is no longer enough to gain entry to Russia's rich list.

Ten billionaires failed to make Forbes magazine's annual list of the 100 richest Russians that is led by those who built their fortunes on the country's metals resources.

Oleg Deripaska, who controls aluminum producer United Company RUSAL among a host of infrastructure, energy and financial assets, tops the latest Forbes list with a fortune of $28.6 billion -- $11.8 billion more than he was worth last year.

Deripaska replaces Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich, who drops to third. The two are split by Alexei Mordashov, majority owner of Severstal , Russia's largest steel maker.

"After the bankruptcy of YUKOS and the strengthening of the state's position in the energy sector, you can count on one hand the number of oil and gas billionaires," Maxim Kashulinsky, editor of Forbes' Russian edition, said in a statement to accompany the launch of the May edition.

"The main fortunes are concentrated now in metallurgy, finance and property."

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