Richest Man in Ukraine Climbs Back After Wealth Destroyed by War
(Bloomberg) -- Rinat Akhmetov has survived revolution, war and nationalization of assets. His fortune has tumbled from its highest level in 2013 after a revolution in Ukraine erupted into conflict with Russia and the annexation of Crimea.
Yet he continues to be Ukraine’s richest person and the 52-year-old is even making a comeback with a fortune of $5.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Akhmetov owns System Capital Management, the country’s largest industrial conglomerate, whose most valuable assets are steel company Metinvest, and DTEK, a coal and energy business. Both had enterprises in Lugansk and Donetsk regions, where an uprising of pro-Russian rebels occurred after mass protests in early 2014.
Akhmetov, an avid supporter of former President Viktor Yanukovych, was forced to move from his native Donetsk to Kiev and his wealth slid from a high of $22.4 billion in January 2013.
In early 2017, Metinvest and DTEK assets in Lugansk and Donetsk were nationalized by pro-Russian rebels after Ukraine’s military veterans started a transport blockade of its rebel-held eastern regions. Akhmetov stayed afloat and Metinvest reported stronger first half 2018 financial results compared with the same period in 2017.
DTEK’s coal production decreased 12.9 percent during the same period. However, efforts to convert some of its power units from anthracite --unavailable in Ukraine since the transport blockade -- to hard coal are showing results and allowing the holding to decrease its coal import needs, according to Concorde Capital’s Alexander Paraschiy. The company is also targeting $1.1 billion for renewables by 2020.
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