Growing Ukraine tensions cost Chelsea tycoon Abramovic £650 million

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic was one of the biggest losers after global markets collapsed for the second time in less than a month, wiping billions off the exchange in London.

More than £54 billion had been removed from the value of London’s top 350 companies just a couple of hours after markets opened on Monday morning.

It comes as tensions continue over Ukraine. On Monday morning Armed Forces Minister James Heappey suggested the risk of war is the highest it has been in Europe since the 1950s.

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“I fear that we are closer than we’ve been on this continent for 70 years. There’s 130,000 Russian troops around the border of Ukraine,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today.

Roman Abramovic lost £650 million as share values plunged.Roman Abramovic lost £650 million as share values plunged.
Roman Abramovic lost £650 million as share values plunged.

The reaction in global markets was stark, and worse for those in continental Europe.

In London, the FTSE 100 was trading down more than 2%, pushed down to its lowest point in two weeks. The biggest stock indexes in Germany and France fell back by 3.5%.

By far the biggest loser on the FTSE 100 was Evraz, which lost more than a third of its value – an unusually big drop for such a large firm.

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It is one of the world’s biggest steel producers and a lot of the company’s assets are in Russia.

The drop was enough to wipe around £650 million off the value of the shares held by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich – Evraz’s biggest shareholder.

“The prospect of war is rarely good for stock markets, and so the new trading week has begun on a bad note across Europe and Asia as investors fear the alarm clock is about to sound on a physical battle between Russia and Ukraine,” said Danni Hewson, a financial analyst at investment platform AJ Bell.

Shares in oil major BP were down more than 3% because the business has a nearly 20% stake in Russian energy giant Rosneft.

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BP’s share price drop was particularly surprising as oil prices are around a seven-year high.

Susannah Streeter, an analyst at investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Energy markets are clearly on edge and if supplies are threatened there is a risk oil will shoot up even higher, adding to price pressures for companies.”

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