The Moscow Times takes a detailed look at the spending habits of Russia’s richest residents (and non-residents.) From boats to property on the French Riviera, there’s a new emphasis on frugality. Denizens of the Russian luxury complex–dealers, mostly–say there are few distressed sales but a moratorium on new purchases:
Despite the strain on their businesses and bank accounts, art collectors are not exactly stampeding for the exits, said Maria Baibakova, a curator at the Krasny Oktabr Chocolate Factory gallery who also collects art with her father, Oleg, president of Prokhorov’s Onexim-Development. Baibakova, who estimates that there are about 30 “serious collectors” in the country, said a recent 25 percent drop in the art market was caused by a dearth of buyers, rather than a rush to sell.
“Most collectors do not collect as a business, and art is not their primary asset, so they do not need to sell into a low market,” she said.
But while the country’s elite are not selling their toys, the lavish purchases of the last few years have been curtailed, said Ellen Verbeek, editorial director of Robb Report Russia, a lifestyle magazine for jet-setters. “Nobody’s selling, and nobody’s buying,” she said. “Everyone is just trying to spend less. [Thriftiness] is even becoming fashionable, although nobody would ever have imagined that six months ago.”
Billionaires Reluctant to Give Up Their Toys (The Moscow Times)