Hindujas top UK's 'super rich' list

12 May 2014


The Hinduja brothers have emerged as the richest among the UK's 102 billionaires, including six of Indian origin. The Hindujas moved up from third position last year to replace Russian Tycoon Alisher Usmanov at the top spot in the latest Sunday Times 'super rich' list.

London-based Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, with interests across automotive, real estate and oil and control the multinational Hinduja Group conglomerate, added 1.3 billion pounds to their personal wealth last year to take it to £11.9 billion ($20 billon).

The Hindujas also edged out steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal in the process, according to the Sunday Times Super-Rich List published on Saturday.

Mittal was at the third rank with £10.65 billion even as Arsenal shareholder and Russian business chief Usmanov, who topped the list till last year, fell to the second place after his estimated fortune dropped to £10.25 billion.

"Last year, the Hindujas sold a 49-per cent stake in a Saudi Arabian lubricants maker, Petromin, for more than £200 million. Property investments in India have added £200 million. The family's IndusInd bank is capitalised at about £2.7 billion pounds. In Britain, Hinduja Automotive turned over about £1.5 billion pounds in 2012-13," the newspaper said.

Other Indian origin industrialists in the UK rich list include, Lakshmi Mittal and family, Prakash Lohia, Lord Swraj Paul and family, Anil Agarwal and Ajay Kalsi and family.

The Kolkata-based Mittal also saw some improvement in fortunes with a pick-up in steel demand after a lag of a few years.

"After a tough few years in the steel industry, Mittal is seeing a glimmer of light. Arcelor Mittal shares have recovered, making his stake worth £6.65 billion - up £700 million in a year," it said.

Mittal's brother-in-law and textiles and plastics tycoon Lohia is ranked as the UK's 46th richest man with around 2.11 billion pounds.

Leading NRI industrialist and Caparo chief Lord Swraj Paul is ranked Britain's 48th richest, with an estimated wealth worth around £2 billion.

"The 83-year-old came to Britain from India in 1966 to seek treatment for his daughter's leukaemia. He stayed after her death and founded steel manufacturer Caparo, which made more than £62 million profit in 2013. The company has been restructured, with its American and Indian businesses worth £1.6 billion," the newspaper said. 

"Paul is chancellor of Westminster and Wolverhampton universities. In memory of his daughter he set up the Ambika Paul Foundation, which supports children's charities," the newspaper said.

Vedanta Resources chief Anil Agarwal is ranked 50th and Indus Gas supremo Kalsi is ranked 102nd in the London-based billionaires.

The British capital is home to 72 people whose aggregated family wealth tops £1 billion.

"More than half, 39, of London's 72 billionaires were born abroad, but nationally the proportion was lower, with 44 of the 104 across the country born outside the UK," the Times said.

According to Times, London has more billionaires than any other city in the world and the number of billionaires living in the UK as a whole has risen to more than 100 for the first time.

There are now 104 billionaires based in the UK with a combined wealth of more than £301 billion.

The next most prosperous world city is Moscow, which boasts 48 billionaires, just ahead of US cities New York and San Francisco.

"London is the financial centre of the world. It straddles time zones so they can come here and get the best financial advice. They like the culture, the tax regime is very nice for them and they feel safe here," said 'Rich List' author Philip Beresford, explaining London's supremacy.

The base wealth of the world's super rich this year has gone up to £1 billion to make it to the Rich List's top 100 and £1.7 billion to make the top 50.

The Duke of Westminster is the richest Briton with around £8.5 billion and is ranked 10th on the list.

Other notable figures in the top 25 include Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich (£8.52 billion pounds), Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley (£3.75 billion pounds) and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson (£3.6 billion pounds).

Sunday Times will release a full version of the list next Sunday.

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