Three Indian-origin people among top 5 wealthiest in UK, Hinduja brothers top the list

Besides brothers Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, who invest in property, healthcare and oil and gas, there are over 40 Indian-origin super-rich in this year's list which also includes a record number of British billionaires - 134 - with 14 new ones emerging over the last year.

Last Updated: May 08, 2017, 09:26 AM IST
Three Indian-origin people among top 5 wealthiest in UK, Hinduja brothers top the list

London: The Hinduja brothers have topped the 2017 list of the richest 1,000 people in the UK with an estimated fortune of 16.2 billion pounds, a massive 3.2 billion pound hike in their fortunes over the previous year as Britain's wealthy "kept calm and carried on making billions" amidst the uncertainty over Brexit.

Besides brothers Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, who invest in property, healthcare and oil and gas, there are over 40 Indian-origin super-rich in this year's list which also includes a record number of British billionaires - 134 - with 14 new ones emerging over the last year.

'The Sunday Times Rich List' says that 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 percent rise in their fortunes since last year to earn a record 658 billion pounds collectively.

List compiler Robert Watts said: "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."

He said a revived stock market had been behind the surge in wealth for the super-rich.

"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."

Another set of India-born entrepreneurial brothers, David and Simon Reuben, who had topped the list last year have moved down to third place with a fortune of 14 billion pounds and steel tycoon Lakshmi N.

Mittal is at fourth with 13. 2 billion pounds.

"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.

However, he remains a long way from his 2008 peak as the UK's richest with then fortunes of 27.7 billion pounds. The second spot, occupied by the Hinduja brothers until 2016, has been taken over by Ukrainian businessman Len Blavatnik (15.9 billion pounds).

Among the other 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 pounds.

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-pound dip over last year, moving him down to the 194th slot, with an estimated wealth of 660 million pounds.

"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 at 27 with 3.97 billion pounds; metals tycoon Anil Agarwal at 60 with 2 billion pounds; Sunil Vaswani and family's car dealerships business at 63 worth around 1.97 billion pounds; Manchester-based Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora at 65 with 1.92 billion pounds; Navin and Varsha Engineer's pharmaceuticals business at 107 and valued at 1.2 billion pounds; and hotelier Jasminder Singh and family is ranked 128 with 1.03 billion pounds.

Most of the remaining millionaires with Indian roots have made their money in a variety of industries, including Bhikhu and Vijay Patel in pharmaceuticals (675 million pounds); Jatania brothers in toiletries and property (630 million pounds); Southall Travels owners Kuljinder Bahia and family in the travel industry (420 million pounds); and Tom Singh and family in fashion (385 million pounds).

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

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

This year's list has been described as more diverse in composition, with more women, more people from ethnic backgrounds, and more from surprising walks of life, with egg farmers and pet food makers among the super-rich line-up.

It now takes assets of 110 million pounds to break into the ranks of the richest 1,000 people in the UK.

The figure in 2016 was 103 million pounds. The top 20 in the list alone are worth a total of 191.77 billion pounds, increasing their wealth by 35.18 billion pounds over the past 12 months.