Two of the wealthiest Russian club owners in the English Premier League lost a fortune over the past 48 hours as Russia’s economy took a nosedive, Times Live said on December 18, quoting statistics from Vanity Fair.
Arsenal’s second-largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich have seen their wealth decimated.
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As Russia’s ruble has fallen to its lowest value in more than a decade, Chelsea’s Abramovich has reportedly lost $449.5 million, leaving the billionaire owner with a net worth of just $12.8 billion. As for Arsenal’s Usmanov, he has lost $809 million this week, leaving his net worth at $13.4 billion.
The declines also knocked Usmanov from his perch as Russia’s richest person. He owns more than 20% of MegaFon, Russia’s second-largest wireless operator, which has fallen 58% this year. Usmanov, whose losses in Russia have been mitigated by gains in Chinese technology companies Alibaba Group Holding and JD.Com, has dropped $6.8 billion this year, according to Bloomberg.
Though emergency measures enacted in the early hours of Monday slowed the rate of the ruble’s tumble, the 15 oligarchs and tycoons on Vanity Fair’s list lost a collective $8.65 billion over the past two days.
Russia’s 20 richest people lost $10 billion this week as the central bank raised interest rates to counter western sanctions that have crushed the ruble and sent the country’s RTS Index to its lowest point since March 2009, Bloomberg said. The billionaires have dropped a combined $62 billion this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and control a combined $174 billion.
“The optimists who thought in March that everything would be all right in the end now understand that nothing will be okay, ” said Moscow’s Institute for National Strategy consultant Stanislav Belkovsky, a Kremlin adviser during Mr Putin’s first term. “Russia’s richest take this situation negatively, but they do not have the tools to reverse it.”