MOSCOW, April 15, 2011 (AFP) - The number of Russian billionaires almost doubled over the last year to 101, the Russian edition of Forbes magazine said Friday in its annual rating.
A total of 101 businessmen in Russia now have a net worth of $1 billion or more, up from 62 last year but still below the 2008 figure of 110. The wealthiest 100 have a net worth of $432 billion, according to Forbes, up considerably from last year's $297 billion.
Metals tycoon and owner of Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) Vladimir Lisin, 54, continues to top the list by a wide margin with a net worth of $24 billion, up from $15.8 billion last year.
He is followed by Severstal owner Alexei Mordashov ($18.5 billion) and Onexim Group owner Mikhail Prokhorov ($18 billion), who also has a majority share of the New Jersey Nets basketball team.
Metal industry asset holders dominate the top five richest, with Vladimir Potanin (Interros) and Alisher Usmanov (Metalloinvest, and a major shareholder in English football team Arsenal), in fourth and fifth place respectively.
Mikhail Friedman (Alfa Group) and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich dropped out of the top five into seventh and ninth place, respectively.
Few of the Russian super-rich lost much money in the last year. One striking exception was construction billionaire Yelena Baturina, whose fortune dwindled from $2.9 billion to $1.2 billion.
Baturina's husband Yury Luzhkov was sacked as Moscow mayor last September by President Dmitry Medvedev after he became mired in rumours of corruption and granting favours to his wife's company.
Earlier this year Russian business magazine Finans published a different ranking topped by Lisin, Prokhorov and Usmanov.
The Forbes list includes business and personal assets of Russian businessmen, including those officially registered under names of relatives that don't participate in management.