RANGERS owner Sir David Murray has suffered a massive £390 million fall in his personal fortune in the last year, according to an annual list of the UK's wealthiest people.
The steel tycoon's loss comes despite the 1,000 richest people in Britain increasing their wealth by 77 billion last year, bringing their total wealth to 335.5 billion, according to the annual Rich List.
Mr Murray, head of Scotland's largest private company and chairman of Murray International Holdings (MIH), has seen his fortune decline from 500m to 110m in the last year, which works out at a loss of 44,520 an hour. As a result, he has fallen 508 places, from 88 to 596, in the Rich List, published yesterday.
Murray's business empire, which includes steel, property, call centres and a majority stake in Rangers, who won the SPL title yesterday, has been badly hit by the economic downturn.
Philip Beresford, compiler of the list, said: "In the past, Murray has been able to do well when there has been a downturn because if one section of his business did badly, he could rely on the others. But this time they have been affected at the same time. Murray's major investments – steel, commercial property and football – all went down at once."
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Mr Beresford predicted, however, that Mr Murray's fortune would recover as the economy improved.
He added: "The latest accounts have been delayed and the business is weighed down by 759m of debt at the last count. However, Murray is a tough entrepreneur and will bounce back."
Mr Murray did not comment on his Rich List placing yesterday but a source close to the businessman said: "We will survive. We remain confident about the future."
In 2009, Mr Murray was ranked as Scotland's sixth richest man, with a fortune of 500m.
However, this year he was down to 110m and has slipped to 39th place in the Scottish list.
Mahdi al-Tajir, the metals, oil and bottled water tycoon with a fortune estimated at 1.5 billion, retains his position as Scotland's richest man. JK Rowling, the Harry Potter author, remains seventh on the Scottish Rich List with a fortune of 519m, an increase of 20m over the past year.
The total wealth of Duncan Bannatyne, the Dragon's Den host and leisure entrepreneur, is 320m, the same as last year, while Sir Sean Connery is now worth 80m, a drop of 5m.
The list also showed that the fortunes of the UK's super-rich staged a remarkable recovery in the last 12 months in the wake of the economic crisis.
In just a year, the collective wealth of Britain's 1,000 richest people increased by 30 per cent, the survey showed. Their combined wealth rose by more than 77 billion since 2009 to 333.5 billion, the biggest annual rise in the list's 22-year history.
London-based steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal claimed this year's rich list top spot for the sixth consecutive year, seeing his fortune double from 10,800 million in 2009 to 22,450 million following the recovery in the global steel industry.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich kept his position at second on the list, adding 400 million to his wealth in a year with 7,400 million.
The richest British-born billionaire, the Duke of Westminster, saw his fortune – mainly based on property – increase by 250 million to 6,750 million to remain in third place.