Three Indians and three Russians are among the Top 5 richest people in the United Kingdom, according to the latest Sunday Times 2012 Rich List.
The list is topped, for the seventh year in a row, by Indian born steel maker Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, whose fortune stands at £12.7 billion according to the paper, a quarter lower than last year owing to a slump in the share prices of his flagship ArcelorMittal.
Alisher Usmanov, Russian steel and mining magnate, and part-owner of the Arsenal football club, trails Mittal by a slim margin, with his fortune estimated by the paper at £12.3 billion. Usmanov’s personal fortune grew by a massive £7.7 billion in 2010, and his portfolio includes timber, telecom and Internet firms.
Roman Abramovich, another Russian and an owner of another football club – Chelsea – is at No. 3 on the Rich List, with his wealth amounting to £9.5 billion.
Brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja, also of Indian descent, stand at No. 4 on the list, with a fortune of £8.6 billion.
Moscow-born Leonard Blavatnik rounds up the top 5 among the UK’s rich, with his personal wealth estimated at £7.5 billion by the Sunday Times.
Overall, Britain's richest people reached record levels of wealth in 2011 even as the country was slipping back towards recession, according to the annual Sunday Times Rich List.
The combined fortunes of the 1,000 richest people in Britain rose by 4.7 percent to £414.26 billion despite high unemployment and harsh government cuts, beating the previous record of £412.85 billion set in 2008.
The number of billionaires also hit a new high of 77.
The wealthiest British-born billionaire was the Duke of Westminster, who owns a central London property empire, but he slipped from third place to seventh, with his fortune estimated at £7.35 billion.
New entrants included Andrey Andreev, 38, a London-based Russian businessman who founded dating website Badoo, with £500 million.
Britain is officially in recession after its economy contracted in the last quarter of 2011 and first of 2012, and the government has suffered a slump in popularity after cutting income tax for top earners in last month's budget.
The government has also made harsh cuts in its spending, with Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron last week standing by the austerity strategy despite fears it is undermining growth.
The Sunday Times list, which includes those for whom Britain is home or their main base of operations, is based on identifiable wealth such as land, property or significant shares in publicly quoted companies, and excludes bank accounts.
- Britain's top 10 billionaires in the Sunday Times Rich List 2012 (last year's rank in brackets):