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Mittal on top UK rich list for the 7th year

News18

Updated: May 8, 2011, 3:34 PM IST
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Mittal on top UK rich list for the 7th year
The Sunday Times Rich List 2011 shows that Mittal continues to top Britain's wealthiest.

London: Indian-origin steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, with an estimated wealth of 17.51 billion pounds, has retained his position as the richest person in the UK for the 7th year in a row in 2011, though his wealth declined by 4.93 billion pounds during the last one year.

The Sunday Times Rich List 2011 shows that Mittal continues to top Britain's wealthiest with a personal fortune of 17.5 billion pounds.

According to the list, Mittal's fortune has declined from 22.45 billion pounds in 2010 to 17.51 billion pounds in 2011 mainly because of plunging share prices in the past year, reducing the value of his stake in ArcelorMittal from 18.45 billion to 13.65 billion pounds.

The 60-year-old chairman and chief executive of the world's largest steel producer, has urged governments to support greater growth after the global financial crisis hit demand, the report said.

Mittal is the highest faller in this year's Rich List but still has the fastest growing fortune.

Mittal, who has converted 1,500 tonnes of steel into an epic sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor at the Olympic Park in east London, wants to build a 30 million pounds mansion in the Surrey green belt.

To secure a front-row-seat at the 2014 Ryder cup at Gleneagles, he is spending 15 million pounds on a golfing bolt hole at the resort.

His main home is the house he bought from Bernie Ecclestone for 57 million pounds in Kensington Palace Gardens, handy for Queens Park Rangers in west London, in which the two tycoons have stakes. Leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has increased his wealth to 850 million pounds - 300 million pounds more than last year.

Paul's Caparo empire, ranging from car components to metals, has been restructured with its US and Indian arms set up as stand-alone operations. The revenues of the overall business reached 800million pounds last year. The UK operation, based in London, had a tough 2009 but has returned to profit.

The report said the Ambika Paul foundation, set up in memory of his daughter, who died of leukaemia, promotes the wellbeing of children. Another leading Indian business group, the Hindujas are 9th richest in the UK with a fortune of 6 billion pounds and they are listed as new entry.

According to the report, Hinduja Automotive made a 90.4 million pounds profit on 984 million pounds sales in 2009-10. It is worth at least 1 billion pounds. The Hindujas, the highest new entry in this year's Rich List, have also recently bought British assets: Careline, an outsourcing business, and 26 per cent of the bus-maker Optare.

The family's assets in Switzerland, largely in banking were put at about 2 billion pounds by Bilan in its 2010 Swiss rich list. The Hinduja Group, started by the late Parmanand Hinduja in 1914, is run by his four sons and two of them,Gopichand, 71 and Srichand, 75, who are known as GP and SP, are based in Britain.

The conglomerate has huge industrial, power generation, automotive and more recently defence interests in India, with a global reach to match. Ravi Ruia of Essar Energy is another new entry with a fortune of 9 billion pounds.

With his Indian-based brother Shashi, Ravi Ruia, 62, is one of the subcontinent's leading industrialists. He lives in London, where he helped build the Essar group and its Essar energy division, which was floated in May 2010 with a value of 5.4 billion pounds.

It is now worth 6.6 billion pounds and the Ruias control nearly 77 per cent.

The brothers inherited their father's shipping agency in southern India in 1969 and moved north to Mumbai, where they expanded into marine construction and offshore support services, and then further afield to trinity Coal, an American miner. They owned 33 per cent of Vodafone Essar but sold it to Vodafone for 3.1 billion pounds in March.

The Ruias are valued at nearly 9.9 billion pounds in the 2011 Forbes list of world billionaires. The wealth of Anil Agarwal, chief of the Vedanta Resources, has been put at 3.81 billion pounds - 290 million pounds less than last year.

According to the report Vedanta Resources is pushing the Indian government to allow expansion of its bauxite and alumina operations. The 1,000 richest people in Britain increased their collective wealth by 18 per cent in the past year and are now worth 395.8 billion pounds.

They are 60.2 billion pounds better off than they were in 2010. The number of billionaires in the UK now stands at 73, including its first self-made woman billionaire, Specsavers' Dame Mary Perkins.

There are now 108 women among the 1,000 richest - the first time the proportion has surpassed 10 per cent. "Music has had a really, really good year. Sir Paul
McCartney is still the richest performing musician in Britain - he has an extra 20m pounds this year, up to 495 million pounds," Tristan Davies, executive editor of the Sunday Times told the BBC.

A fortune of at least 70 million pounds is needed to get into the 2011 list, compared to 63 million in 2010 and 55 million in 2008. The Duke of Westminster has increased his wealth by 250 minister but falls out of the top three for the first time since 1999.

Another new billionaire is Tory peer Lord Kirkham, 66, with his family, after selling sofa business DFS to private equity group Advent International. The Kirkham family's wealth stands at 1bn pounds, up from 430m pounds last year.

The list, compiled by Philip Beresford, is based on identifiable wealth, such as land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies, and excludes bank accounts.

First Published: May 8, 2011, 3:34 PM IST
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