russians in london




clientele millionaire globe/global
elite wealthy set up shop
client include mean/meant
gain double grow/grew/grown
list completely wealthy/wealthier/wealthiest
crazy resident big/bigger/biggest
impact capital (2) nickname
reality series reality series
super rich regime (2)
favorite location expatriate/expat
luxury private run/ran (2)
estate agency important
property take away buy/bought
asset upheaval bad/worse/worst
tax slight change (2)
while suffer estate agent
cost enroll private school
attract stability opportunity
invest despite large/larger/largest
float one of stock exchange
bull at least retailer
around wave (3) bullish
total market (2) hypermarket
fear crucial consequence
loan worth basically
any sort of according to
huge loss numbers (2)
focus surprise government
hard anything diplomacy





Yevgeny Chichvarkin was only meant to come to London for ten days. He’s been here for five years now, and has even set up shop. This Russian millionaire now sells the finest wines to the global elite. And his clientele naturally includes the wealthiest Russians.

And its numbers are growing.

“When we came it was about 200,000. And now it’s nearly doubled. I think an even bigger wave will arrive soon because the Russian president is completely crazy,” said Chichvarkin.

Yevgeny is one of more than 45,000 Russian-born residents here that made such an impact that the capital’s nickname has become Londongrad. There’s even a reality series about the city’s super-rich Russian residents, while Mayfair is a favorite location for wealthy Russian expats.

Gary Hersham, who runs a private luxury estate agency tells me Russians are some of his most important clients.

“People come here and buy their properties knowing that their asset will never be taken away, knowing that there won’t be some political upheaval…and the worse that can happen in London is a slightly changed tax regime.”

According to an estate agent, Nigel Frank, Russians accounted for 9% of all London home sales that cost more than one-and-a-half million dollars last year. And in 2013, 23% more Russian children enrolled in private schools than the year before.

They are attracted to political stability, low taxes, and investment opportunities.

Just this morning, Lenta, Russia’s second largest hypermarket chain, floated on the London stock exchange. The company is one of at least three Russian retailers to open here, attracted to bullish IPOs.

“There are around thirty companies listed with a total market capitalization of $450 billion. So that is around 13% of the total market cap in the London Stock Exchange,” said Ashrf Laidi of City INDEX. “So that’s a lot of money.”

Despite talk about Russia facing economic consequences for its actions, there are fears that Russian money is too crucial for the British economy. And according to the Bank of Economic Settlements, British banks have more than $19 billion worth of loans in Russia.

And that basically means that if there were to be any sort of sanctions on Russian businesses, then British banks could suffer huge losses.

Well not surprisingly the British government may want to focus on hard diplomacy rather than anything that may affect jobs and growth.


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1. Yevgeny changed his mind and plans. True or false?

2. What is his job now?

3. Does Yevgeny make a prediction?

4. What is “Londongrad”? What does “Londongrad” mean?

5. Do rich Russians live all over London, or do they prefer certain districts?

6. Why do rich people come to London?

7. There are huge economic and business ties between the Russia and the UK. Is this correct or wrong?

8. What should the British government do? What shouldn’t the British government do?
A. I would like to live in London. Yes or no?

B. Have you ever been to London? Would you like to visit London?

C. What do you associate with London? What comes to mind when you think of London?

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