Russian billionaires lost $39 billion in a day after the invasion of Ukraine

Russian stock market saw historic slides.
Ameya Paleja
Russian stock market saw historic falls.Rasi Bhadramani/iStock

The effect of the sanctions imposed on Russia was felt immediately as Russian billionaires saw their combined worth drop by $39 billion in a single day, Bloomberg reported.

Last week, the Russian military launched a multi-pronged attack on Ukrainian territory that evoked sharp criticism from the countries in the West. To reign in Russian aggression, Western powers have imposed a series of financial sanctions on Russia that also includes removing Russian banks from the international payments system SWIFT, which was announced over the weekend.

Russian stock exchange sees a historic slide

However, even before the latest sanctions kicked in, the Russian markets recorded their fifth-worst plunge as the national index MOEX closed 33 percent lower, Bloomberg said in its report. The market valuation tanked by over $50 billion in a single day making it the worst slide since the Black Monday crash of 1987.

Facing the bulk of this heat were Russian billionaires that saw a combined wealth erosion of over $39 billion dollars in a single day. Vagit Alekperov, the chairman of Moscow-based Lukoil was hit the most with his wealth shrinking by as much as $6.2 billion as the oil-producing company's stock slid 33 percent, Bloomberg reported. 

Russia's richest person, Vladimir Potanin lost $3 billion on the day when steelmaker Severstal's chairman Alexey Mordashov lost $4.2 billion Vladimir Lisin, owner of another steel-making company, Novolipetesk lost $3.9 billion while Leonid Mikhelson,the founder, chairman, and largest shareholder in the gas company, Novatek, was the next big loser at $3.8 billion.

The energy sector was hit the most

Gennady Timchenko, whose investment group Volga focuses on the energy, transport, and infrastructure assets, has also lost $3.7 billion on the same day. After the Russian attack, Germany has ditched plans of Nord Stream 2, a project that would have seen Russian-produced gas being sent through Germany through a pipeline, sending waves of uncertainty into the energy sector which is one of the mainstays of the Russian economy.

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Suleiman Kerimov, a Russian politician and businessman whose bulk of billionaire wealth comes from a stake in the gold producing company Polyus, also lost close to $3 billion. 

With hopes of reconciliation talks on the horizon, there has been some respite for these billionaires. However, if no progress is made towards peace, further sanctions could hit them harder.