London: The Hinduja brothers have topped the 2017 list of the richest 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.
Besides the Hinduja brothers, there are over 40 Indian-origin super-rich in this year's list of the UK's 1,000 wealthiest people, who seem to be reaping a so-called "Brexit bonanza".
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.
Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, aged 81 and 77, lead an elite group of 134 UK-based billionaires in the list and have made their fortune from investments in industries such as oil and gas, automotive, IT, energy, media, banking, property and healthcare sectors.
Their latest 350-million-pound project is converting the Old War Office in London into a five-star hotel and luxury apartments, the newspaper notes.
"The Hindujas have also recently bought British assets including Careline, an outsourcing business, and the bus maker Optare. There are assets in Switzerland of about 3.6 billion pounds, according to Bilan's 2016 'Swiss Rich List'. Their six-storey mansion, a sapphire's throw from Buckingham Palace, adds 300 million pounds," it adds.
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).
"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," said Robert Watts, compiler of the list for the newspaper.
"We expected to see a chilling effect in the run-up to the EU referendum, but that simply did not materialise. A buoyant stock market usually drives the wealth of Rich Listers higher, and since last June equities have soared," he said.
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.
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Updated Date: May 08, 2017 07:21:20 IST