Asian tycoons prove they're the business on £35bn rich list

AN INTERNET tycoon, a clothing manufacturer and a politician are among the Scots who have achieved prominent positions in a new list of Britain's wealthiest Asians.

Topping the list of Scots was the property investor and computer specialist Shaf Rasul, 35, whose estimated fortune of 102 million makes him the 27th wealthiest Asian in the UK.

Based in Edinburgh, he set up E-net Computers, which is considered to be the largest media distributor in Europe.

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The second richest Scots were Afzal and Akmal Khushi, directors of the Glasgow-based Trespass clothing label, which specialises in winter sportswear. They are said to be worth 75 million, putting them at No 42 in the UK.

The brothers Raju and Sunny Tuli were named as third richest in Scotland, and 70th nationwide, with 42 million. They made their fortune through the Livingston-based chain Jean Scene, which started out as a stall at Ingliston market set up by Raju Tuli at the age of 19.

He also retains the lucrative Irish franchise for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Costa Coffee.

Also on the list are Munawar Hayat, managing director of Sher Brothers, the Glasgow clothing and textile wholesaler, who is believed to be worth 28 million, and Maq Rasul, of Glasgow-based Global Video, who has an estimated fortune of 25 million. They were 90th and 109th respectively.

Other Scots featured include Mohammad Sarwar, the Glasgow Central Labour MP whose cash-and-carry business is worth about 16 million, at 154th, and the restaurateur Charan Gill, the former owner of the Harlequin Leisure Group, who has a fortune of about 15 million and was listed at 163rd.

Mr Gill, better known as Glasgow's curry king, built up the Harlequin restaurants chain that includes the Ashoka brand and then sold it in 2005 for 8 million.

The list, compiled by Dr Philip Beresford, was topped by the London-based steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, who easily held on to his No 1 spot, with a fortune of 14.8 billion - making him the third wealthiest person in the world.

According to the list, the total wealth of the richest Asians has increased by 42 per cent, from 24.9 billion last year to 35.5 billion this year.

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Avtar Lit, the chairman of Sunrise Radio, which sponsors the list, said the increase had come from increased international trade. "This year, the rich list shows that Britain's Asians are increasingly taking part in global businesses," he said.

"Those in property are looking for opportunities abroad in places like Dubai and Bahrain. There seems to be terrific traffic between Asia and the UK at the moment."

Garmeet Khangura, the chairman of the Ethnic Media Group, who will host the Eastern Eye Asia business awards tomorrow, said developing eastern markets also offered huge opportunities.

"In the case of India, many of these businesses have natural links there," he said.

Mr Khangura added that, while the Asian community in Scotland was much more integrated than it was in England, this had not had an impact on their business styles. He added: "This sort of success is not only great for Asian business, but for the country as a whole."

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