Moscow 'has most billionaires'
© 2004 BBC News news.bbc.co.uk
The report by the business magazine Forbes has also estimated
that a quarter of Russia's wealth is now concentrated in the hands of
just 100 people.
When it comes to business and wealth, New York used to be the undisputed
capital of capitalism.
But at least in terms of super-wealth, Manhattan has now been surpassed
Just a dozen years after the collapse of communism, the Russian capital
is home to 33 billionaires, according to Forbes, while New York has 31.
And the Russians are making a splash with their money.
The 37-year-old oil and aluminium tycoon, Roman Abramovich, who last
year bought London's Chelsea Football Club, is Russia's second wealthiest
man, worth $12bn.
RUSSIA'S RICHEST MEN
Mikhail Khordorkovsky $15.2bn
Roman Abramovich $12.5bn
Victor Vekselberg $5.9bn
Mikhail Prokhorov $5.4bn
Vladimir Potanin $5.4bn
Mikhail Freedman $5.2bn
Vladimir Lisin $4.8bn
Oleg Deripaska $4.5bn
Alexsei Mordashov $4.5 bn
Vagit Alekperov $3.9bn
But the wealthiest of all, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, can do little
with his $15bn as he is languishing in jail, awaiting trial for tax evasion.
Many see the detention as a warning from President Putin that if businessmen
meddle in politics, he will investigate their business practices.
"With respect to how his (Khodorkovsky's) arrest has impacted the
other participants in the list, one has noticed a change in behaviour
of Russia's richest people," said Paul Khlebnikov, chief editor of
"Russia's entering a new stage of capitalism, moving away from the
shadow economy, moving away from a black-market type of mentality, towards
a more civilised, transparent, open form of capitalism."
Most on the list of Russia's 100 richest did not so much earn their fortunes
as come into windfalls, acquiring ownership of vast oil, mineral and manufacturing
companies after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Even the lowest on the list is worth $200m.