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How One Russian Oil Tycoon Has Added $3.5 Billion To His Net Worth During The Oil Market Collapse

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How One Russian Oil Tycoon Has Added $3.5 Billion To His Net Worth During The Oil Market Collapse

The majority of Russia’s oil tycoons have been financially crippled by the global oil price collapse. However, the Wall Street Journal’s Laura Mills reported that one Russian oil billionaire has more than doubled his net worth from $2.4 billion to $5.9 billion during one of the harshest oil market downturns in history.

Russian Oil Tycoon

Mikhail Gutseriev is the majority owner of OAO NK Russnet, one of Russia’s largest oil producers. Prior to the oil price collapse, Gutseriev had been aggressively seeking to expand his oil empire, acquiring assets by taking on massive amounts of debt. In 2014, he reached out to Sberbank for a large loan. Russia’s largest national bank conditionally agreed to the loan after requesting that Gutseriev hedge his oil bets.

The hedges Gutseriev took out have since allowed him to sell millions of barrels of oil at $85/bbl, well above market price.

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Astronomical Earnings And Net Wealth

A Gutseriev representative claims the billionaire has earned $700 million from his oil hedge, while others say the number could be closer to $1 billion.

Gutseriev’s jump in net worth is a stark contrast to what’s going on with many of the wealthiest Russian businessmen as the economy struggles to cope with the prolonged oil slump.

“I’m not a rat running from a sinking ship,” Gutseriev said in an interview last year. “I’m absolutely convinced that you need to hold on.”

Gutseriev’s oil hedge is one of the main reasons why his ranking on Russia’s Forbes list jumped 20 places in 2016.

So far this year, the United States Oil Fund LP (ETF) (NYSE: USO) is up 2.7 percent and the Market Vector Russia ETF Trust (NYSE: RSX) is up 15.4 percent.

Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

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