Russian Tycoons Add $3 Billion to Wealth as Trading Resumes
Against all odds and despite sanctions, Russian tycoons are regaining some of their wealth.
Scores of Russian billionaires got sanctioned by the European Union and the U.K. after the Kremlin started its war against Ukraine. Some got their possessions in those jurisdictions seized, and others rushed to shift ownership of their stakes while they still could. But for the 10 tycoons whose shares resumed trading, the advances were adding to their paper gains.
Leonid Mikhelson and Gennady Timchenko each grew their fortunes by more than $1 billion on Thursday. Timchenko got sanctioned by the European Union and the U.K. — and by the U.S. following Crimea’s annexation in 2014 — though Mikhelson didn’t. Vladimir Potanin remains Russia’s richest person with a $26.3 billion fortune.
The gains on Thursday partly offset a 33% plunge on Feb. 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine. Before the trading halt, the 23 tycoons part of the world’s 500 richest people had more than $316 billion of combined wealth, down $58 billion for the year.
The 33 stocks that resumed trading on the Moscow exchange had some restrictions that helped prop up the market: foreigners were not allowed to offload their holdings and short selling was banned.