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    Abramovich confidently heads Forbes list of richest Russians

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    A new list of Russia's 100 richest people published by the Forbes Russia magazine placed Roman Abramovich firmly at the top and featured several newcomers, mostly bankers, a respected business daily said Thursday.

    MOSCOW, April 19 (RIA Novosti) - A new list of Russia's 100 richest people published by the Forbes Russia magazine placed Roman Abramovich firmly at the top and featured several newcomers, mostly bankers, a respected business daily said Thursday.

    Abramovich, 40, who is best known outside Russia as the owner of the Chelsea soccer club, topped the list for a third time with a fortune that increased $0.9 billion to $19.2 billion over the past year, Vedomosti said. The London-based "oligarch" divorced his second wife this year after 16 years of marriage that produced five children. The businessman left his former wife with $300 million and financial support for the children.

    Next in line was Oleg Deripaska, owner of the Russky Aluminii (RusAl) aluminum giant and the Basic Element (BasEl) industrial holding. His fortune grew faster than Abramovich's by $7.8 billion to $16.8 billion, pushing him four points higher. "Deripaska is advancing steadily like a tank, launching new projects in the construction and other sectors," said Kirill Vishnepolsky, first deputy editor of Forbes Russia.

    A newcomer to the list was Member of Parliament Suleiman Kerimov, 40, who owns 5% in the Russian energy giant Gazprom, 6% in the state-controlled savings bank Sberbank, and 75% in the Polymetal gold mining company. The lawmaker survived a car crash in France five months ago reportedly in the company of a married Russian TV celebrity.

    Vladimir Yevtushenkov, co-owner of Russia's leading consumer services firm AFK Sistema, was demoted from the top 10 to the 14th place with a fortune of $8.5 billion that grew steadily but apparently not fast enough. Yevtushenkov seemed unconcerned, saying he had never really thought about the size of his fortune.

    The list contained 13 "freshmen," most of them in the banking sector. The exception was Vadim Shvetsov, who worked on the team of Severstal Group owner Alexei Mordashov, and leapt to the 82nd place after buying Mordashov's share in Severstal-Avto.

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