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Mittal loses, still richest

business Updated: Apr 27, 2009 01:13 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Top five

Lakshmi Mittal & family ($15.8 bn)
Anil Agarwal: $876 mn
Anurag Dikshit $816 mn
Jatania Brothers $730 mn
Swraj Paul and family $730 mn

Britain's billionaires shrank from 75 to 43 in 2008 as the effects of the global downturn hit home, but Lakshmi Mittal, 58, the steel tycoon from Kolkata, stayed on top of the wealth list despite his fortune plunging 61 per cent from 27.7 billion pounds ($40.44 billion) to 10.8 billion pounds — the biggest fall of them all.

Mittal’s wealth was more than double that of Russian-born Roman Abramovich, 42, whose fortune stands at 4.7 billion pounds, down from 11.7 billion last year, according to an annual list compiled by Sunday Times.

The biggest surprise this year is the disappearance of the Hinduja Brothers from the list. They were fourth last year, with an estimated wealth of 6.2 billion pounds.

Mittal is the only Indian among the top 10 billionaires this year. There are 29 persons of Indian-origin in the list.

Reliable sources told HT that they did not want any mention in the list, like many others, and the Sunday paper respected their wish.

Apart from Mittal who is at number one, copper tycoon Anil Agarwal (600 million pounds, at the 28th slot) and gaming software wizard Anurag Dikshit (559 million pounds at 29) the Jatania Brothers (500 million pounds at 31), and Swraj Paul and family (500 million at 31) figure among the wealthy Indians.

Well-known names like aviation tycoon and Virgin Airways boss Sir Richard Branson, now worth 1.2 billion pounds, are among those hit by the market mayhem that saw the value of stocks and properties held by the tycoons plunge. Among women, Prathiba Sachdev, worth 350 million pounds, is five slots about Queen Elizabeth, whose wealth is valued at 270 million pounds.