Saturday, October 4, 2008

Crisis takes toll on oligarch Deripaska

Oleg Deripaska became the first Russian oligarch to be publicly hit by the global financial crisis yesterday after he was forced to divest his 20 per cent stake in Magna International, the Canadian car parts maker, to creditors.

Mr Deripaska had faced margin calls on the $1bn loan that helped fund the $1.4bn investment as the value of the stake in Magna he had offered as collateral plummeted, two people familiar with the situation said.

On paper, Mr Deripaska is Russia's richest man with an estimated fortune of $28bn. But concern is growing about the level of indebtedness in his empire which spans aluminium, cars and construction amid the liquidity squeeze and a stock market rout that wiped more than half of the value off Russian stocks since May.

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