Usmanov takes over Mittal as wealthiest Brit

Marion Dakers
ALISHER Usmanov has overtaken steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal to become Britain’s richest man.

The Sunday Times Rich List has estimated Usmanov’s wealth at £13.3bn, as his mining investments, the newly-floated telecoms group Megafon and a minority stake in Arsenal have helped add almost £1bn to his fortune in the past year.

Mittal, meanwhile, has seen the global slowdown in steel sales shave £2.7bn off his wealth to leave him and his family with £10bn, putting them at fourth place in the list.

Another victim of the tough commodities markets is Vladimir Kim, the Kazakhmys chairman who has seen his fortune shrink by three quarters to £530m, sending him more than 100 places down the rich list to 165.

Overall, the UK’s 1,000 wealthiest residents have a total of £450bn, up £35.4bn in the space of a year. The number of billionaires has risen to a record 88, up from 77 a year ago and just nine when the Sunday Times began its list 25 years ago.

The biggest riser in wealth terms is Len Blavatnik, whose assets have ballooned 45 per cent in the last year to £11bn, taking him to second place on the rich list.

Blavatnik, who owns Warner Music, gained £2bn from the sale of his stake in oil explorer TNK-BP.

Channel 5 owner Richard Desmond and Apprentice star Lord Sugar are tied as the wealthiest Brits in film and TV, with £860m each.

The wealthiest hedge fund manager remains Alan Howard, whose success at Brevan Howard has boosted his fortune £100m to £1.5bn in the past year.

Of the 1,000 British residents on the list, 193 made their wealth in finance, 182 in property and land, 129 in industry and 88 in film, media and sport.

Four are lottery winners, and 65 became wealthy through computers, telecoms and the internet.

Twenty four-year-old Robin Arora, whose family owns discount stores B&M Bargains, is the richest person under 30, with a share in his family’s £1.1bn wealth.