Lakshmi Mittal stays on top of UK rich list for the 7th year

Lakshmi Mittal stays on top of UK rich list for the 7th year

London: Indian-origin steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, with an estimated wealth of £17.51 billion, 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 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.

According to the list, Mittal’s fortune has declined from £22.45 billion in 2010 to £17.51 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.

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 mansion in the Surrey green belt.

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

His main home is the house he bought from Bernie Ecclestone for £57 million 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 - £300 million 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 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 profit on £984 million sales in 2009-10. It is worth at least £1 billion.

The Hindujas, the highest new entry in this year’s Rich List, have also recently bought British assets: Careline, an outsourcing business, and 26% of the bus-maker Optare.

The family’s assets in Switzerland, largely in banking were put at about £2 billion 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.

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.

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

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% of Vodafone Essar but sold it to Vodafone for £3.1 billion in March.

The Ruias are valued at nearly £9.9 billion 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 - £290 million 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% in the past year and are now worth £395.8 billions.

They are £60.2 billion better off than they were in 2010.