Developer Bets Prokhorov $10M He Will Fail

Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov plans to snap up Russian real estate on the cheap as developers buckle under the weight of expensive materials and credit, but a top Moscow property developer is betting $10 million he can't.

Sergei Polonsky, the 35-year-old chairman of developer Mirax Group, has challenged Prokhorov to complete at least one real estate project of not less than 100,000 square meters. He did not specify a deadline.

Prokhorov told Kommersant last week that he planned to acquire distressed real estate companies in Russia as the sector suffered a hard landing from soaring costs.

Polonsky, himself a billionaire, dared Prokhorov to try, and he offered a lifetime prize of an annual two-week break in a Turkish resort to the first reporter to secure Prokhorov's signature for the bet.

Moscow has become the world's second-most expensive city after London, based on the price of a square meter of real estate, and many analysts say the rise could continue since the market depends little on mortgages, unlike elsewhere in the world.

Prokhorov also told Kommersant that he was studying nine property projects worldwide, including an elite resort development in Southeast Asia.