March 6, 2018 / 3:45 PM / in 4 months

Steel tycoon ousts gas mogul from top of Russia rich list: Forbes

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Lisin, controlling shareholder of Russian steel producer NLMK (NLMK.MM), displaced natural gas magnate Leonid Mikhelson at the top of Russia’s rich list for 2018, Forbes magazine, which compiles the list, said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Chairman of the Board of Directors of NLMK company Vladimir Lisin delivers a speech as he attends a session during the Week of Russian Business, organized by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), in Moscow, Russia February 9, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Another steel tycoon, Alexei Mordashov, who controls NLMK’s leading competitor Severstal (CHMF.MM), retained his grip on second place. Like Lisin, his fortunes were buoyed by rising global steel prices.

Of the 2,208 billionaires included by Forbes in its global rankings this year, 102 are Russian, of whom one is a woman.

Lisin, 61, is in first place and 57th worldwide, having seen his net worth increase by $3 billion to an estimated $19.1 billion as of this year, the magazine said.

Mordashov, 52, in close second with an estimated personal fortune of $18.7 billion, has enjoyed an increase of $1.2 billion since last year’s Forbes list, placing him 60th globally.

Mikhelson, head of natural gas company Novatek (NVTK.MM), was pushed into third place in the Forbes list of Russian billionaires.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Treasury Department published a list of 96 “oligarchs” deemed close to the Kremlin that bore a close resemblance to the Forbes rankings for 2017.

The list was published as required by a package of sanctions legislation that U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law last year.

Those included on the U.S. list were not immediately subject to sanctions, but the publication cast a shadow of uncertainty over them and President Vladimir Putin labeled the list an “unfriendly act”.

Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Christian Lowe and Adrian Croft

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