Russia's mega-wealthy industrialists are leaving Moscow for London.
Among them are famous Russians Viktor Vekselberg, Mikhail Fridman, and Leonid Blavatnik, who collectively control a fortune worth more than $40 billion, according to the most recent Forbes magazine list of billionaires.
According to The Telegraph, "Russia is the last source of new money" for London.
Vekselberg, Fridman, and Blavatnik are the three oligarchs behind AAR, a consortium that owns 50 percent of TNK-BP, an oil joint venture with the British corporate giant BP.
Between 1998 to 2004, more than $100 billion flowed from Russia, according to Forbes magazine. A significant percentage of that is now being spent in the boutiques and estate agents of London, thought to be home to more than 300,000 Russians.
The Russian investments are also helping the London real estate market avoid a collapse. The Russian expatriates have been investing in high-end properties in neighborhoods like Chelsea.
Where's all their money coming from? Gas and oil wealth are not the only sources of money for the nouveau rich from Russia. There are also monied people from the banking, retail, and even food sectors of the Russian economy.
And analysts do not expect the flow of funds to decline anytime soon. Rather, they see Russian firms increasing their presence in the U.K., and adding to the listing of their firms on the London stock exchange.
Right now, there are some 100 Russian firms listed on the FTSE index. Three of the companies are in the FTSE 100 Index.
"Russians have been in London for some time because it's close to Moscow, and it's very international, and you have seen them active in the property market," says Steven O'Sullivan, head of research at Deutsche Bank.
"London is an attractive market to them."
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