Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal
THE FORTUNES of the richest people in Britain have soared by 30 per cent in a year while much of the country is struggling to recover from recession, according to an annual list published yesterday.
Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and his family remain top of the list with £22.45bn ($34.5bn), more than double the £10.8bn ($16.6bn) they were estimated to have last year.
Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire who owns Chelsea Football Club, retains his second place on the Sunday Times Rich List with wealth of £7.4bn ($11.4bn), up £400m ($618m) from last year.
The compilers of the 2010 list say the rise in the wealth of Britain’s richest individuals is the largest since the list was first published 21 years ago.
The recovering health of global stock markets and property values following the global downturn has fuelled the rise.
The 1,000 richest people in the country increased their wealth by £77bn ($119bn) last year, bringing their total wealth to £335.5bn ($517.6bn).
Another ten individuals joined the ranks of billionaires in the past 12 months - there are now 53 in Britain.
A boom in commodity markets lifted the fortunes of the mining magnates Alisher Usmanov, up 213 per cent to £4.7bn ($7.26bn), and Anil Agarwal, up 583 per cent to £4.1bn ($6.3bn).
Philip Beresford, who complies the list, said: “The rich have come through the recession with flying colours. The stock market is up, the hedge funds are coining it. The rich are doing very nicely.”
Explaining the high number of foreign tycoons taking up residence in Britain, he said: “Russians like the UK because it is safe, the level of corruption is low and they can get decent services.”
India’s super-rich also find Britain a tempting base because: “They live in an Anglophile society in the higher reaches of Delhi and Mumbai - apart from the heat and the curry, it’s much the same in London.
“Here there’s English spoken, a good legal system, their children can go to good schools and they are welcomed into the Establishment.”
Top ten of Sunday Times Rich List 2010 (last year’s position, fortune and percentage change is in brackets):
1. Lakshmi Mittal and family, steel - £22.4bn ($34.6bn) (1, £11.8bn/$18.2bn, up 108 per cent)
2. Roman Abramovich, oil and industry - £7.4bn ($11.4bn), (2, £7bn/$10.8bn, up six per cent)
3. The Duke of Westminster, property - £6.7bn ($10.3bn) (3, £6.5bn/$10.4bn, up four per cent)
4. Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli, pharmaceuticals - £5.9bn ($9.1bn) (4, £5bn/$7.7bn, up 19 per cent)
5. David and Simon Reuben, property and Internet - £5.5bn ($8.4bn) (4, £2.5bn/$3.8bn, up 121 percent)
6. Alisher Usmanov, steel and mines - £4.7bn ($7.2bn), (18, £1.5bn/$2.3bn, up 213 per cent)
7. Galen and George Weston, retailing - £4.5bn ($6.9bn) (47, £900m/$1.3bn. Note: the wealth of the two sides of the Weston family has been merged in this year’s list)
8. Charlene and Michel de Carvalho, inheritance, brewing and banking - £4.4bn ($6.8bn) (7, £2.9bn/$4.4bn, up 49 per cent)
9. Sir Philip and Lady Green, retailing - £4.1bn ($6.3bn) (6, £3.8bn/$5.8bn, up seven per cent)
10. Anil Agarwal, mining, £4.1bn ($6.3bn) (70, £600m/$927m, up 583 per cent)
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