Russia » Economics
Author`s name Michael Simpson

Forbs Rates Khodorkovsky Russia's Richest Businessman

Being in prison, Khodorkovsky still receives profits
It was announced on February 27 that Forbs compiled a new list of multi-millionaires. Even though it has not been published yet, there are some people who have gained information about the list. It is not ruled out the information is not precise. The position on the list and the amount of fortune of major shareholders of YUKOS, Mikhail Khodorkovsky first of all, has become the key intrigue.

Russian mass media immediately reported that shares under arrest and those handed over to other people's management were not accounted as belonging to Khodorkovsky, that is why the businessman was rated at the bottom of the list.

But in fact, the information was not true: what is more Forbs has estimated Khodorkovsky's assets as increased by $7 billion as compared with the previous year.
 
The Vedomosti newspaper published the Russian part of the Forbs rating. It is still headed by YUKOS head Mikhail Khodorkovsky who is rated the 16th on the total list. Leonid Nevzlin from YUKOS holds the 277th position with the fortune of $2 billion; Brudno, Dubov, Shakhnovsky and Lebedev from the oil company share the 427th position with the assets of $1.8 billion.  
 
In general, the Russian part of the Forbs list poses many questions. Fortunes of many of Russian multi-millionaires are estimated not only on the basis of the assets they hold, but also based on some "special information" that Forbs experts have. The return of ex-head of Gazprom Rem Vyakhirev to the Forbs list is especially symbolic, the same concerns ex-chairman of Gazprom board Sheremet. Fortunes of both men are not registered in any official documents.

Rem Vyakhirev has not been included into the list of the world multi-millionaires since 2001 when amounts of Russian businessmen assets' were guessed just from rumors. Much has been done since that time to legalize fortunes of Russian businessmen. The Forbs list was compiled as based on official data and the structures of the share capital in 2002-2003. 
 
Now, Forbs once again gives no credence to official documents and basically relies upon rumors the same way it was at the end of the 1990s as concerning Russia. This is not a great trouble if this is just Forbs' editorial policy.

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