The value of the assets of Russian businessmen has decreased amid the aggravation of the situation around Ukraine and the increased risk of new sanctions against the Russian Federation. The cumulative fortune of 104 Russian billionaires has decreased by $27.9 billion since December 20, 2021, testify Forbes Real-Time counter data.
The owner of Novatek, Leonid Mikhelson, lost the most — about $2.1 billion. Now his fortune is estimated at $25.5 billion. The capital of Novatek and Sibur board member Gennady Timchenko decreased by $1.9 billion (to $22.8 billion).
In third place in terms of the scale of losses was Senator Suleiman Kerimov, whose family controls Polyus. He lost $1.8 billion. Now his fortune is estimated at $13.1 billion. The top 5 Russian billionaires in terms of capital loss also included Severstal owner Alexei Mordashov (-$1.7 billion) and Arrival founder Denis Sverdlov (-$1, 6 billion).
In percentage terms, Denis Sverdlov lost the most (minus 46%), but his business for the production of electric vehicles is not related to the Russian market. In second place in terms of the share of losses, the founder of Yandex, Arkady Volozh (minus 26%), the third is the founder of Tinkoff Bank, Oleg Tinkov (-21%).
The Russian stock market experienced its worst crash since March 2020 on January 18, when the spread of the coronavirus triggered a panic sell-off. Literally in a day, all last year’s growth of 15% was lost. The Moscow Exchange index fell by 6.5%, and the RTS index – by 7.29%.
On January 26, the euro exchange rate rose above 90 rubles for the first time since July 2021, and the dollar exchange rate rose above 80 rubles for the first time since November 2020.
The fall of the market began on January 13, after Russia admitted that negotiations with the US and NATO on security guarantees had failed. One of the key requirements of the Russian Federation was the rejection of Ukraine’s membership in NATO and the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance to the east. NATO rejected the Russian proposal and stated that they would not abandon the “open door policy”.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, by mid-January, Russia had concentrated a force of 127,000 troops near the Ukrainian borders. The build-up of forces was accompanied by the transfer of ammunition stocks and field hospitals to the border, which, according to the findings of Ukrainian intelligence, “confirms the preparation for an offensive operation.”
In order to counter Russian aggression, the United States has developed a draft of new restrictions, which includes, in particular, a complete ban on transactions with Russian government bonds, sanctions against major Russian banks, officials, including Vladimir Putin, imports of products for the aerospace industry, artificial intelligence technologies and quantum computers . The option of restricting the export of high-tech consumer goods, such as smartphones, to Russia is also being considered.
At the White House warnthat in the event of an aggravation of the situation in Ukraine, new sanctions will be heavier than in 2014. Then the ruble fell by 50%, and the Central Bank spent 25% of its reserves to support the national currency.
Russia rejects reports of “planned aggression” against Ukraine. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the introduction of possible restrictions against Putin “an outrageous measure” and warned that they could lead to a complete cessation of relations between the Russian Federation and the United States.