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Abramovich slips out of Russia Top 10 rich list

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Chelsea football club owner and superyacht enthusiast Roman Abramovich slipped out of the top 10 richest Russians in Forbes magazine's 2013 ranking published on Thursday.

The flamboyant steel, mining, real estate and telecommunications tycoon has lost $1.9 billion of his fortune and is now worth just $10.2 billion, putting him into 13th place in Russia and 107th in the world, Forbes said.

Forbes did not explain Abramovich's fall. He is noted for having one of the world's largest yachts that he uses to travel the world, and which recently docked in New York for the birth of his latest child.

The magazine earlier this month called the arrival of Abramovich's daughter "the most expensive baby delivery ever," noting that the "cost for delivering little Leah Lou on American soil topped several hundred million" dollars.

Forbes on Thursday also noted that Abramovich has a $1 billion art collection, and that he bought 40 works by top conceptualist artist Ilya Kabakov for $60 million earlier this year.

The list is headed for the second year running by Alisher Usmanov, an Uzbek-born Russian tycoon whose $17.6-billion fortune comes from original investments in mining, and who has since expanded into media and other interests.

Also holding a nearly 30-percent stake in the Arsenal football club, Usmanov was ranked as the 34th-richest person in the world by Forbes.

Russia's number two Mikhail Fridman, a former co-owner of the TNK-BP oil company, was ranked 41st worldwide with $16.5 billion in wealth.

The top five was rounded out by the $15.4 billion of Leonid Mikhelson, a major stakeholder in the Novatek natural gas company (ranked 47th in the world); the $15.1 billion of Viktor Vekselberg, another former TNK-BP co-owner (ranked 52nd in the world); and the $14.8 billion of Vagit Alekperov, president of Russia's number two oil producer Lukoil (ranked 55th globally).

Two of the fastest climbers in the top 20 included Novatek's Mikhelson, who shot up seven spots, and the company's co-owner Gennady Timchenko, who climbed five places to number nine on the Russia list with a fortune of $14.1 billion.

Timchenko is an old acquaintance of President Vladimir Putin, although both he and the Russian leader deny this has anything to do with the company's surge to the top of Russia's energy sector.

Novatek, a trading company and Russia's largest independent natural gas producer, is slowly emerging as a real rival to the energy giant Gazprom.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130418/abramovich-slips-out-russia-top-10-rich-list-0