Page last updated at 23:44 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Moscow knocked off rich top spot

Oleg Deripaska
Oleg Deripaska's net worth plunged 88%

Russia lost nearly two-thirds of its billionaires during the past year, according to the Forbes 2009 World Billionaire list.

The number of Russian billionaires fell from 87 to 32, with 27 in Moscow.

It means that New York, with 55 people on the list, has regained the title of billionaire capital of the world from Moscow. London was second with 28.

Russia's richest man, aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska, saw his fortune plummet from $28bn (£20.3bn) to $3.5bn.

With fortunes falling in Russia and Asia, the US dominated the list of the super-rich.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates regained top spot and Americans made up half of the top 20, compared with only four last year.

Real estate hit

The 87 Russians who made the 2008 list lost a total of $369bn between them.

Those in real estate saw severe losses, with the credit crunch bringing many projects to a standstill.

Two of the sector's biggest losers were Kirill Pisarev and Yuri Zhukov. Shares in their real estate firm PIK lost nearly all their value, causing the two men to lose 90% of their wealth.

However, one man who is hopeful of a recovery is developer Sergei Polonsky.

In October, he promised to eat his own tie if real estate prices did not increase 25% in a year.

His Polonsky Mirax Group still hopes to complete a 1,660-ft (506m) skyscraper in the new business district Moscow City.

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