EU-Russia-Oligarchs 10-31 Web
Employees of MICEX are seen in Moscow on Friday.
Oligarchs ask for bailout
They amassed some of the world’s biggest fortunes in the wild privatizations of Russia’s post-Soviet chaos and the oil boom that followed. Now some of Russia’s richest men are facing the choice of losing some of their empires or pleading at the Kremlin’s doors for a bailout.
Mikhail Fridman, one of the original oligarchs of the 1990s, was the first to come forward. His Alfa Bank said Friday it was seeking $400 million in government loans to stave off foreign creditors.
The cash would allow the bank to avoid handing over its 44 percent stake in the major Russian mobile phone company VimpelCom, which it pledged to a group of foreign banks led by Deutsche Bank as collateral for a $2 billion loan.