RUSSIAN billionaire Alisher Usmanov is top of this year’s Sunday Times Rich List. The 59-year-old - who has a near 30% stake in Arsenal Football Club - is worth £13.3 billion, according to the list which is published today.
• Alisher Usmanov (worth £13.3 billion) tops the Sunday Times Rich List
• The UK’s richest 1,000 people control nearly £450bn in wealth and assets
• Russia-born Len Blavatnik’s wealth nearly triples in a year, from £3.4bn to £11bn
78 Scots made the list, the highest number in ten years. The Highland Spring water mogul Mahdi al-Tajir has retained his spot as Scotland’s richest man, worth over £1.6bn.
There are six Scottish billionaires on the list - the Grant family, oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood, the Thomson family, transport magnate Alastair Salvesen, and engineering giant Jim McColl.
Usmanov: Plastic bags, iron ore and emails
Usmanov’s business empire, which started with the making of plastic bags, ranges from Metalloinvest, Russia’s biggest iron ore producer, to a stake in mail.ru, the country’s largest internet company, and a big holding in MegaFon, a mobile phone operator which listed on the London and Moscow stock markets last year.
Mr Usmanov owns Sutton Place, the former Surrey home of the late oil baron J Paul Getty, as well as a £48 million mansion in north London.
Mittal’s value plummets
Lakshmi Mittal, who spent eight years at the top of the list, has dropped down to fourth. The steel magnate, now worth £10 billion, is the biggest faller in wealth terms.
The 40% stake Mr Mittal and his wife Usha hold in the steelmaking giant ArcelorMittal has plummeted from £28 billion at its peak to £5.95 billion.
The highest placed UK-born person is the Duke of Westminster, who is worth £7.8 billion and ranked eighth.
In second place is Russian-born Len Blavatnik, whose rise in wealth from £3.4 billion last year to £11 billion this year, makes him the highest riser in wealth terms.
Mr Blavatnik owns Warner Music, and received £2 billion last month for his stake in TNK-BP.
The number of billionaires in the UK has increased ten-fold since the Sunday Times Rich List was first published in 1989, shooting from nine to 88. There were 77 last year.
According to the list, the 1,000 richest people in Britain have wealth totalling almost £450 billion.
The combined wealth of the top 200 people is £318.2 billion, a more than eightfold rise on the £38 billion for the combined wealth of the 200 people featured in the first list.
In 1989, the Queen topped the list with total wealth of £5,200 million. This valuation included all the Crown Estates and the royal art collection. In later years, the Queen has been valued solely on her personal wealth and no longer topped the list after 1993.