It took Russia two months to respond to the unprecedentedly tough sanctions imposed by the US Treasury on April 6 against 24 Russian citizens. On Monday, June 4, Vladimir Putin signed a law on counter-sanctions, which provides for six retaliatory measures that the executive branch can apply at its discretion. First of all, we are talking about trade restrictions (prohibition of import or export of products from Russia) and a possible ban on foreigners for participation in privatization and state procurement.
Seven Russian billionaires have fallen under US sanctions in April. According to Forbes, their fortunes in the past two months decreased by $ 6.7 billion. The worst losses were suffered by the unfortunate trio: Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg and Suleiman Kerimov. They lost a total of $ 6 billion.
The most sensitive losses are for Oleg Deripaska. His fortune decreased by $ 3.2 billion to $ 3.52 billion. Since the imposition of sanctions, shares of his group En + (uniting the share of the billionaire in UC Rusal and energy assets) on the London Stock Exchange have collapsed by 55% to $ 5.4 per share. Quotations of the GAZ Group on the Moscow Stock Exchange fell by 33% to 412 rubles. At the same time, the US authorities regularly make allowances for Deripaska's companies. For example, initially the US Treasury ordered contractors of UC Rusal to cancel contracts with the aluminum giant by June 6. Now the term has been transferred to October 23. Thanks to this, the company almost managed to restore the volume of export sales.
Nevertheless, Deripaska will hardly manage to retain direct control over key assets. He actively seeks buyers for his in GAZ and En +. It is not excluded that they will be the state. Last week, the governor of Irkutsk region Sergey Levchenko told about his meeting with Deripaska and admitted that the billionaire does not exclude the possible nationalization of part of his assets. Then the State Duma deputy from the Irkutsk region Mikhail Shchapov (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) proposed transferring 40% of Irkutskenergo, the largest energy company of Siberia, to the state ownership.
While Deripaska is looking for buyers, Victor Vekselberg, who lost $ 1 billion in two months under sanctions, is actively withdrawing the largest assets from sanctions. In early April, the billionaire reduced his stake in the Swiss concern Sulzer to 48.83%, sold the company almost 15% of its shares. However, for Vekselberg, this transaction was inadequate: funds from the sale of the Sulzer package (almost 550 million francs) were frozen on accounts in Swiss banks. In two other Swiss companies (OC Oerlikon and Schmolz + Bickenbach), the billionaire significantly reduced its stakes (from 43% to 19.9% and from 42% to 16%, respectively) through the exchange of assets with partners: Evgeny Olkhovik and Vladimir Kremer. Olhovik and Kremer have increased their stakes in Swiss companies, and Vekselberg received assets from them - though, what exactly and for what amount Renova did not tell.
Shares of Polyus Gold, which accounted for the lion's share of Suleiman Kerimov's state in April-May, fell 12% to 3,940 rubles per share on the Moscow Stock Exchange. The state of the billionaire for the same time decreased by $ 1.8 billion to $ 5 billion. Another $ 700 million decreased the state of Vladimir Bogdanov (up to $ 1.73 billion). The participant of the April sanctions list Igor Rothenberg managed to finish the spring without losses, and Kirill Shamalov and Andrei Skoch even got a little rich: by $ 30 million and $ 50 million, respectively.