Corrected: Putin's judo partner jumps in Russia's rich list

Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:17am EST
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(Corrects paragraph 14 to show Timchenko is the second biggest shareholder in Novatek, not the biggest. Also adds spokesman for Timchenko denying media reports he had bought a stake in Murmansk Commercial Sea Port)

By Gleb Bryanski

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A former judo sparring partner of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his younger brother have advanced up the list of Russia's richest people compiled by a respected national magazine.

Finans magazine said on Monday that Arkady Rotenberg, 59, who as a teenager trained in judo with Putin in St. Petersburg, jumped 17 positions in the list to become Russia's 63rd richest person with an estimated wealth of $1.75 billion.

Rotenberg, who runs St. Petersburg's judo club Yavara-Neva, where Putin is an honorary president, controls energy service company Stroygazmontazh, which was contracted to build parts of the $12 billion Nord Stream gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea.

Rotenberg is also a shareholder in construction group Mostotrest, which raised $388 million in an initial public offering last year and has lucrative contracts in the Black Sea resort of Sochi ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Rotenberg's younger brother and business partner, Boris, also an avid judoist, shares the 63rd position with his brother. The two were in the 395th place in Finans' list of 500 richest Russians in 2009.


The top of the list saw very few changes with steel tycoon Vladimir Lisin, an owner of Novolipetsk Steel, firmly in first place with a wealth pot up from $18.8 billion at the start of 2010 to $28.3 billion now.   Continued...