London: The Hinduja brothers have topped UK's list of 1,000 richest people, including other Indian-origin industrialists Lakshmi N Mittal and Lord Swraj Paul, with a combined fortune reaching a “phenomenal” 518.9 billion pounds or one-third of Britain's annual GDP. Srichand, 78, and Gopichand Hinduja, 74 - who run the multinational Hinduja Group conglomerate with interests across automotive, real estate and oil - moved up from third position last year to top the UK's billionaire charts this year with a fortune of 11.9 billion pounds, according to The Sunday Times Rich List 2014 made public today.
The London-based Hindujas edged out steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal, who rose one position upwards to the third rank with 10.25 billion pounds, even as Arsenal shareholder and Russian business chief Usmanov, who topped the list till last year, fell to the second place after his estimated fortune dropped to 10.65 billion pounds.
“Last year, the Hindujas sold a 49 per cent stake in a Saudi Arabian lubricants maker, Petromin, for more than 200 million pounds. Property investments in India have added 200 million pounds. The family's IndusInd bank is capitalised at about 2.7 billion pounds. In Britain, Hinduja Automotive turned over about 1.5 billion pounds in 2012-13,” the paper said.
According to the list of 1,000 richest men and women, Britain's wealthiest people are richer than ever before, with a combined fortune of 518.9 billion pounds - equivalent to a third of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP). The rich have surged to new heights with their wealth rising by 15.4 per cent on last year's total of 449.6 billion pounds.
It means the wealth of the top 1,000 has doubled since the financial turmoil in 2009, rising from 258 billion pounds that year, the newspaper said.