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Low commodity prices and stock declines amid the global credit crunch
Low commodity prices and stock declines amid the global credit crunch have slashed the net worth of many of Russia's super-rich, sending them down the rankings in the Forbes rich list published on Thursday.

According to the magazine, Russia now has only 32 billionaires, down from last year's 87. None of them made it into the world's top 20 this year, compared to four in 2008.

"Russia became the epicenter of the world's commodities bust, dropping 55 billionaires - two-thirds of its 2008 crop... Together with the 32 who managed to stay on the list, Russian billionaires and former billionaires lost $369 billion," Forbes said.

Oleg Deripaska, ranked last year as Russia's richest man and the world's ninth richest, has seen much of his wealth disappear, due partly to falling aluminum prices and the heavy debt burden of his business empire, Forbes said. His personal wealth has shrunk from last year's $24.5 billion to $3.5 billion, ranking him 164th in the world.

Mikhail Prokhorov, who sold most of his stake in the world's largest nickel company, Norilsk Nickel, to Deripaska before the company's value plummeted, is now Russia's richest man, with $9.5 billion, and is ranked 40th in the world.

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has also been hard-hit by falling metals prices, seeing his share in steel giant Evraz lose two thirds of its value. His fortune has more than halved, to around $8.5 billion, which still keeps him among Europe's top 25 billionaires.

Alexander Lebedev, who bought London's Evening Standard last year, has seen his fortune fall from last year's $3.1 billion to below $1 billion.

Other high-profile victims are real estate magnate Kirill Pisaryov, down $5.5 billion to $600 million, Russia's richest woman Yelena Baturina, down $3.3 billion to $900 million, and fertilizer tycoon Vyacheslav Kantor, down $1.9 billion to $700 million.

The number of billionaires in Moscow has fallen from last year's 74, which had put it in first place globally, to 27.


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