Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 369 Suleiman Kerimov $5.49B

Random fact: Married a daughter of a communist party official in the late 1980s.


Kerimov's family controls most of Polyus, the biggest gold producer in Russia. The Moscow-based company produced 2.4 million ounces of gold in 2018 and controls the rights to more than 68 million ounces in proven reserves. He also has a minority stake in Snap, owner of the Snapchat photo-sharing app.

As of :
Last change -$71.4M ( -1.3%)
YTD change +$416M ( +8.2%)
Industry Commodities
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship Russian Federation
Age 53
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Suleiman Kerimov's net worth of $5.49B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Kerimov's fortune is derived from his family’s controlling stake in publicly traded Polyus, Russia's biggest gold producer, according to its website. Kerimov's son, Said, holds 78.6% of publicly traded company, according to its Aug. 2, 2017 disclosure document and accounting for an April 4, 2019 share sale. The shares are controlled through Jersey-based Polyus Gold International, according to Polyus disclosure documents, and the stake is attributed to Suleiman in this analysis.

The pledged sharecount used in this analysis was increased from 50% to 67% on June 19, 2018 based on a June 13 media report. The removal of the additional pledged shares led to a fall in the net wealth calculation of more than $1 billion.

The billionaire has collected more than $500 million in dividends through 2018, according to company filings and an analysis of Bloomberg data. The value of his cash investments includes these proceeds and reflects the cost of assets and proceeds from sales that are derived from official filings, media reports and Bloomberg data. The investments are calculated in U.S. dollars, and reflect taxes and market performance.

He also owns real estate assets valued at $42 million, according to local press reports, and has minority stake in Snap, owner of the Snapchat photo-sharing app, according to reports in local media.

Kerimov didn't respond to requests seeking comment on his net worth.


Birthdate: 3/12/1966
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: Dagestan State University

Suleiman Kerimov was born in Derbent, in the Republic of Dagestan, Russia, in 1966. When he was 18, a year after enrolling at Dagestan State Technical University, he joined the Soviet army and served for two years, graduating in 1989 with a degree in economics. He took a job as an economist at Dagestan-based Eltav electrical plant, which made transistors and semi-conductors for television manufacturers. He moved to Moscow in 1993, and began working at Fedprombank, which was established by the plant to work with its business contractors.

Within four years, Kerimov had acquired a controlling stake in Vnukovo airlines, one of Moscow's three major airlines, and built a controlling stake in Fedprombank, which he sold in 1994. In 1998, he bought a controlling stake in Nafta Moskva, a near-bankrupt and former state-run oil trader that was later named by the United Nations for unlawfully profiting from the oil-for-food program. Kerimov was elected to Russia's State Duma, the country's main legislative body, in 1999.

Kerimov began pursuing hostile takeovers, winning control of the businesses owned by Andrey Andreyev, a former Soviet police officer who controlled a collection of assets. Among the assets was an insurance company, Avtobank, Ingosstrah, and the Novotroyitsk steel plant, one of Russia's ten biggest steel facilities. He began selling the assets in 2008, offloading some to billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a founder and co-owner of United Co. Rusal, an aluminum producer. Kerimov later sold Deripaska his interests in Moscow-based property developer SPK Razvitie, which he acquired in a hostile takeover.

The billionaire's biggest strikes came in the Russian stock market. He began buying Gazprom in 2003 using loans from Russian state banks. The company's market capitalization quadrupled during the next three years. He also bought shares of Sberbank, Russia's largest state-run bank. That investment increased 12-fold. After repaying the original loans, he started a new round of financing that he used to increase his positions and by 2006 held almost 6 percent of Sberbank and more than 4 percent of Gazprom. He sold most of his interests in both before the 2008 global economic crisis, building a fortune said to be worth as much as $18 billion, according to local media reports, much of which he lost in the market crash that followed.

He was investing again by 2009, this time using loans from VTB bank, Russia's second-biggest bank, acquiring a 17.2 percent stake in Uralkali, Russia's largest potash producer, and a 40 percent stake in Polyus Gold International, Russia’s biggest producer of the metal, as well as minority stakes in a number of other Russian companies. The billionaire sold his stake in Uralkali for about $4 billion in 2013.

Kerimov is married and lives in Moscow.

  • 1966 Suleiman Kerimov is born in Derbent, the Republic of Dagestan, Russia.
  • 1984 Begins a two-year stint in the Soviet Army.
  • 1989 Graduates from Dagestan State Technical University.
  • 2006 Gets in a near-fatal car crash in Nice, France.
  • 2008 Appointed to the Council of the Federation in the Russian Parliament.
  • 2008 Sells controlling stake in Polymetal for about $1.8 billion.
  • 2013 Belarus seeks Kerimov's arrest, alleging abuse of office.
  • 2017 Detained in Nice on suspicions of laundering money.