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The Leader of the List of Richest Russians has Changed
March 11, 2020 09:56


(Source: https://www.vladtime.ru/uploads/posts/2015-03/1425309662_1.jpg)

The leader of the list of richest Russians has changed.

The co-owner of Novatek and Sibur Leonid Mikhelson ceded leadership of the Russian part of the global Forbes list to Vladimir Potanin. The co-owner of Russia's largest private oil company Vagit Alekperov, is snapping at the heels of the main owner of Norilsk Nickel.

The owner of Interros Vladimir Potanin has topped the Russian part of the Forbes global list, according to Forbes Real Time. Potanin turned out to be the leader of the annual global ranking only once - in 2015, with a fortune of $ 15.4 billion. This happened due to the consistent increase in the value of the shares of Norilsk Nickel, the main asset of Potanin (now the billionaire owns 34.6% of the company).

Since the beginning of 2019, the securities of the metallurgical giant have gained about 60%. If one year ago they were traded at the Moscow Stock Exchange at the level of 13,500 roubles apiece, today t  hey have risen to 21,426 roubles per share. The second position in Forbes Real Time is occuped by Vagit Alekperov. He is only $ 100 million behind Potanin. Russia’s main oil tycoon has never been at the top of Russia's Forbes ranking, but the chances of this happening in the near future are real - if Lukoil shares were sold at 5461 roubles apiece in early February 2019, today they make up 6535 roubles.

The top three is closed by the Novatek’s shareholder Leonid Mikhelson who headed the Forbes annual list last February. His fortune now amounts to $ 24.9 billion. And the reason is not that he became poor: his fortune was estimated at $ 24 billion in the annual ranking, but it did not grow as fast as the wealth of his competitors.

The growth of Norilsk Nickel quotations is largely due to the favorable situation on the palladium market. “Palladium prices are still pleasant for everyone. Despite the fact that many see this as an asset bubble, it is expected that its deficit will persist in 2020, which means that there are no prospects for falling prices for this asset”, according to Maksim Khudalov, the Head of the ACRA Sustainable Development Risk Assessment Group.

Palladium was originally used to replace expensive platinum in the manufacture of catalysts, but now platinum already costs half the price of palladium, as he explains. The situation at the market is optimistic: the panic observed on the commodity markets amid expectations of a downfall of the Chinese market due to the fight against coronavirus is receding; “there is no zombie apocalypse”, as Khudalov concludes.

With respect to the prospects of Lukoil, they are largely determined by its dividend policy. In 2019, the company shifted its focus towards dividends, approving a new dividend policy in December, which suggests that the total amount of dividends will be at least 100% of Lukoil’s free cash flow, as the Aton oil analyst Anna Butko reminds us. According to her, the dividend yield for 2019 can make up about 8%.

Despite some negative stuff around the company’s papers in connection with the coronavirus, the long-term prospects of the company can be evaluated as positive, the expert adds.




Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian oligarchs Russian business Russian companies coronavirus  

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