Hinduja brothers top Sunday Times' 2017 UK rich list

Hinduja brothers Srichand and Gopichand, with vast investments in property, healthcare and oil and gas, have topped the 2017 Sunday Times list of Britain's top 1,000 billionaires.

The Hinduja brothers topped Sunday Times' 2017 rich list with an estimated wealth of £16.2 billion , which is a £3.2 billion addition to the previous year's figure.

Besides the Hinduja brothers, there are 40 other Indian-origin super-rich in this year's list.

This year's rich list also includes a record 134 British billionaires, with 14 new ones emerging over the last year - a sign that Britain's wealthy "kept calm and carried on making billions" despite the uncertainties related to Brexit.

Another set of India-born entrepreneur brothers, David and Simon Reuben, who had topped the list last year, have moved down to third place with a fortune of £14 billion while steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal is at fourth with £13

"The furnaces are roaring again in the steel industry. Mittal, 66, the largest steelmaker in the world, is feeling the effect in his bank balance and on the Rich List, where his 6.1 billion increase from last year is one of the highest annual rises to date," the list reads.

Mittal with his £27.7-billion fortune in 2008 is a far cry from his present position.

The second spot, occupied by the Hinduja brothers until 2016, has been taken over by Ukrainian businessman Len Blavatnik (15.9 billion pounds).

The uncertainties triggered by Britain's vote to leave the European Union (EU) last June have not impacted the country's billionaires ability to make money, as they grew in numbers with a 14 per cent rise in their fortunes since last year to earn a record £658 billion collectively, according to the ''Sunday Times Rich List."

"While many of us worried about the outcome of the EU referendum, many of Britain's richest people just kept calm and carried on making billions," Robert Watts who compiled the list said.

He attributed the surge in wealth to a revival of the stock market.

"We expected to see a chilling effect in the run-up to the EU referendum, but that simply did not materialise," Watts said.

"A buoyant stock market usually drives the wealth of rich-listers higher, and since last June equities have soared."

The 40 Indian-origin super-rich include new billionaires Gujarati migrant brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, whose Euro Garages business is Europe's largest independent fuel retailer.

They are ranked 133rd on the list with a fortune of £1 billion.

Joining them among the new billionaires are another set of brothers Raj, Tony and Harpal Matharu who made 1 billion pounds last year with their Grange hotel chain in the UK.

NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul's business marked an £80-million dip over last year, moving him down to the 194th slot, with an estimated wealth of £660 million.

"A number of Paul's businesses went into administration in late 2015 as a result of the steel industry crisis and his London-based Caparo Group, which includes property interests, saw its assets sink from £77 million pounds to £49.6 million pounds," the list notes.

The other Indian-origin billionaires on the list include Sri Prakash Lohia (ranked 27) with £3.97 billion; metals tycoon Anil Agarwal (60th) with £2 billion; Sunil Vaswani and family's car dealerships business (63rd) worth around £1.97 billion pounds; Manchester-based Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora (65th) with £1.92 billion; Navin and Varsha Engineers pharmaceuticals business (107th) valued at £1.2 billion; and hotelier Jasminder Singh and family (128th) with £1.03 billion.

Interestingly, this year's list has Indian millionaires who have made their money in a variety of industries, including Bhikhu and Vijay Patel in pharmaceuticals (£675 million); Jatania brothers in toiletries and property (£630 million); Southall Travels owners Kuljinder Bahia and family in the travel industry (£420 million); and Tom Singh and family in fashion (£385 million).

Among the artists, Mumbai-born sculptor Anish Kapoor makes the list of 1,000 with £134 million.

He joins popular singer Adele, who is listed as Britain's wealthiest female musician with £125 million.

This year's list also includes more women and people from different ethnic backgrounds, and as diverse businesses as egg farmers and pet food makers among the super-rich line-up.

The minimum wealth required to break into the Sunday Times rich list is now £110 million of assets.

The figure in 2016 was £103 million. The top 20 in the list alone are worth a total of £191.77 billion.