Ukraine's president lost billionaire status in office and more

Author : Alexander Sazonov

Source : Bloomberg

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko leaves office Monday, May 20
13:32, 20 May 2019

Petro Poroshenko

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko leaves office Monday after losing a bruising election to a comedian.

That’s not all he lost. The confectionery tycoon was stripped of his billionaire status soon after his election in June 2014. Poroshenko’s net worth has declined almost 40% to $705 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Falling fortunes of Poroshenko

Poroshenko’s most valuable asset is Roshen. He formed the company in 1996 by blending together a half-dozen chocolate, cookie and cake producers, taking the name from the middle letters of his family name. It has become Ukraine’s biggest confectioner and a major player in the region, with factories in Russia, Lithuania and Hungary.

Roshen’s output, which topped 400,000 tons in 2012, dropped 25% over the next two years after its products were banned in Russia. Ukraine’s economy is still recovering from the turmoil of 2014, when the toppling of a Kremlin-backed president led to the annexation of Crimea and the start of an armed conflict in the country’s east.

His other assets include a bank, a television channel, an insurance company, and several agriculture and food enterprises. While campaigning for president, Poroshenko promised to sell Roshen. Instead, he transferred his stake to a blind trust in January 2016.

He lost the election last month to Volodymyr Zelenskiy amid his failed efforts to end corruption.

Others lost more money during the period. Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, owner of the country’s largest industrial conglomerate, saw his net worth drop more than 50% to $5.5 billion.

— With assistance by Daryna Krasnolutska

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