Moscow becomes world's 'billionaire' capital: Forbes

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Moscow, Mar 6 (UNI) Moscow has become the world's billionaire capital, with 74 billionaires with an average wealth of 5.9 billion dollars, upstaging New York, according to the Forbes Magazine's annual rich list published today.

According to the list, New York has 71 billionaires, followed by London with 36, Istanbul with 34, and Hong Kong with 30.

The title of the richest Russian billionaire goes to Oleg Deripaska, the aluminium tycoon with a fortune estimated at 28 billion dollars. He is ranked as the world's ninth richest man.

The second richest Russian is Roman Abramovich, the governor of Russia's Chukotka region, famous for his lavish purchases, like Chelsea football club. He is believed to be worth 23.5 billion dollars.

Next is the steel magnate Alexei Mordashov, worth about 21 billion dollars, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

According to Forbes, in total Russia has 87 billionaires. The magazine also points out that the average age of Russian magnates is about 46, which is much younger than the rest of the world.

Russia is second only to the US in the number of its super-rich.

An additional 35 Russians have crossed the one billion dollar mark in the past year, helped along with the continued rise of the rouble against the dollar.

''Sixteen years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia, with 87 billionaires, is the new No 2 country behind the US, easily overtaking Germany, with 59 billionaires, which held the honour for six years,'' the agency quoted Forbes associate editor Luisa Kroll as saying.

Russia's richest woman remains Elena Baturina, the 45-year-old second wife of Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov (71).

Forbes estimates that she has added 1.1 billion dollar to her personal wealth in the past year, bringing it up to 4.2 billion dollars and putting her in 253rd place globally.

Ms Baturina founded Inteko in 1991, which became Moscow's largest construction firm in the years after her husband became Mayor. In 2006, she sued the Russian edition of Forbes over a cover story.

UNI XC PD RK1635

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