Lakshmi Mittal remains
Britain's richest man at Sunday Times Rich List
London, April 23, 2007
Col. Sunder Singh
NRI Lakshmi Mittal steel tycoon has topped the Sunday Times Rich
List of the 1000 wealthiest people in the United Kingdom again in
2006. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, Mittal has increased
his staggering fortune to more than 19 billion pounds - up from
last year's 14.9 billion pounds.
Mittal's wealth is based on his Mittal Steel company, the world's
largest steelmaker which three months ago launched an audacious
takeover bid for Arcelor, its nearest rival. London-based Mittal,
55, has also been buying into steelmills in China and the Ukraine.
Mittal Steel is quoted on the American and Dutch stock markets and
is 88% controlled by the Mittal family and trusts. Mittal ranks
at number three in the world’s richest people.
The second position on the Sunday Times rich list with £10.8
billion pounds is Roman Abramovich who was born in Russia and made
his billions from oil. At just 39 years of age Abramovich is also
the proud owner of the high profile Chelsea football club.
There are now 54 billionaires listed, with 20 of them being born
outside of UK. The combined wealth of the super rich is an amazing
£300.964 billion pounds, 20 percent more than the total in
The Prime Minister Tony Blair has played a key role in ensuring
this bonanza. In 1997, the wealth of the top 1,000 stood just short
of £100 billion. In the meantime it has tripled.
The Co-founders of Part Gaming Russell De Leon and his wife Ruth
Parasol have accumulated at least £2 billion out of gambling.
The Blair government recently gave permission for the building of
a series of so-called Super Casinos in the UK.
The real estate also continues to provide major investment opportunities.
Up from last years 198, 211 on the list derive their wealth from
land ownership and/or property. The geographical concentration of
the super-wealthy continues, with the number of multimillionaires
residing in Britain’s south-east, particularly London, amounting
to at least 52 percent of the 1,000 richest individuals. This is
the highest figure the Sunday Times has recorded.
Mittal paid just over £57 million for the KPG address in
2004. The previous owner was Baron de Reuter, founder of Reuters
news agency. Another very popular London residence for the world’s
super-rich is Bishops Avenue in East Finchley. A modest five bedroom
house costs £3 million, but Toprak Mansion with 28,000 sq
ft, known as Top Whack Mansion by estate agents, is on the market
for £50 million. Mittal also owns a property called Summer
Palace right next door. Neighbours include pornography magnet and
owner of the tabloid Express newspaper Richard Desmond, who owns
two properties on the street.
London could not yet compare with Switzerland as a banking centre,
it does rank above any other European city. “If you’re
an emerging rich person or multi-billionaire,” he explained,
“London is the place to be. The rich are now so much wealthier
than ever before that the Times raised the threshold for entry to
the list by a further £10 million since 2005, to a record
Most of the rich people from other countries are attracted to Britain
by a generous tax regime, which allows foreign residents to be taxed
only on what they actually brought into Britain - regardless of
how much money they earned overseas.
According to the BBC: “London is such an attractive place
for the very rich, not just tax wise but because they have the city,
the culture and the safety and security. New York has shot itself
in the foot with its onerous regulation.”
“There is also general paranoia in the US after 9/11 that
makes foreign billionaires feel uncomfortable, and London is winning
as a result.”
On the other hand, 30 percent of the population have zero liquid
assets. Millions of working people and their families live a hand-to-mouth