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To: Conservative til I die; Salvation
The list of Russia's largest fortunes released this month by Forbes magazine confirms the unique nature of the nation's booming post-communist economy, analysts say.

Russia's 36 billionaires boast 100 billion dollars -- 24 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), according to the list of Russia's 100 largest fortunes published by Forbes this week.

"This shows that no other country has developed its capitalism as fast as Russia," Paul Klebnikov, editor of the Russian edition of Forbes, told reporters.

By comparison, the 277 US billionaires listed by Forbes control no more than six percent of their country's GDP.

The concentration of wealth in Russia sets it apart from other developping markets like China, which has only one billionaire, Klebnikov said.

In China, "there are lots of small and medium enterprises and large groups" controlled by numerous shareholders, Klebnikov said.

"In Russia, businessmen think that they have to keep control over at least 25 percent" of their enterprises, he said. "This shows the youth of capitalism in Russia."

Moreover, most of the Russian wealth was concentrated in the country's abundant natural resource enterprises left over from Soviet times, the survey showed.

"In total, two thirds of Russia's 100 largest fortunes were made in export of raw materials," and only 30 percent arose from companies set up in other sectors of the economy, Klebnikov said.

Russia's tycoons do not bear an easy resemblance to the US robber barrons of the 19th century. "I think that comparing Russian businessmen with people like (John) Rockefeller is a bad comparison because they created their industrial empires from zero," Klebnikov said.

In Russia, by comparison, the so-called oligarchs made their fortunes by scooping up industrial assets during the privatizations that followed the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.


20 posted on 05/23/2004 12:04:11 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: All

"The Russian capital is home to 33 billionaires, more than any other city in the world, according to a new ranking by the Russian edition of Forbes magazine. More than Riyadh, Tokyo or London. More than poor old New York, which is home to just 31 billionaires."

21 posted on 05/23/2004 12:05:34 AM PDT by MarMema
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