Arsenal 1, Chelsea 0: Abramovich falls behind Usmanov in rich list


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The Independent Online

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been knocked out of his top-three spot on Russia's rich list by Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov. Mr Abramovich was ranked as the fifth-richest Russian in the annual survey by Finans magazine, the first time he has been outside the top three.

The two richest Russians last year were Vladimir Lisin and Mikhail Prokhorov. Mr Lisin's wealth was estimated at $28.3bn (£17.7bn), up from $18.8bn last year, while Mr Prokhorov saw a jump in his fortune from $17.85bn to $22.7bn, according to Finans.

Russia's two richest people are metals magnates, but could not be more different in their personalities. Mr Lisin is a quiet, secretive businessman who rarely gives interviews or appears in public, while Mr Prokhorov is a larger-than-life figure with a reputation as a playboy. He owns a controlling stake in the New Jersey Nets, an American basketball team.

Mr Abramovich's wealth also grew, to $17.1bn, but the others at the top of the list grew faster. Mr Usmanov shot up from seventh place last year to nab the third spot this time, with a fortune estimated at $19.9bn. The number of dollar billionaires rose to 114 from 77.

Notable winners over the past year include Arkady Rotenberg, a former judo sparring partner of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin when they were teenagers. The 59-year-old is worth $1.75bn, jumping 17 positions to become Russia's 63rd-richest person.

Mr Rotenberg runs a judo club in St Petersburg where Mr Putin is an honorary president, and also has interests in construction and energy. He has risen swiftly over the past two years – in the 2009 Finans list he came 395th.

Things were not so rosy for the only female billionaire, Yelena Baturina, who is married to Yuri Luzhkov, the former mayor of Moscow who was fired last September after falling out with President Dmitry Medvedev. Ms Baturina dropped 47 places in the rankings, with $1.1bn at 94th place.

Russia's top 10 richest

1. Vladimir Lisin – $28.3bn (£17.7bn) Metals. Secretive Lisin is Russia's richest man again.

2. Mikhail Prokhorov – $22.7bn Diversified from metals into other sectors.

3. Alisher Usmanov – $19.9bn Metals magnate and Arsenal shareholder.

4. Oleg Deripaska – $19bn The king of aluminium, he suffered in financial crisis.

5. Roman Abramovich – $17.1bn Chelsea boss out of the top three for the first time.

6. Alexei Mordashov – $17.05bn Head of Severstal steel.

7. Suleiman Kerimov – $16.9bn Oil. Owns a football club in native Dagestan.

8. Mikhail Fridman – $16bn Shareholder in the oil company TNK-BP.

9. Vladimir Potanin – $14.3bn Owns a stake in mining giant Norilsk Nickel.

10. Vagit Alekperov – $10.9bn President of the Russian oil giant Lukoil.