(London) The number of billionaires living in Britain has risen to more than 100 for the first time, a study has found. Some 104 billionaires are now based in the UK – more than triple the number from a decade ago – with a combined wealth of more than £301 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
It means Britain has more billionaires per head of population than any other country, while London’s total of 72 sterling billionaires is more than any other city in the world, the study found.
Indian-born brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja top the list of the UK’s wealthiest billionaires with a fortune of £11.9 billion.
The London-based pair, who run the global conglomerate Hinduja Group, saw their wealth rise by £1.3 billion in the last year, the study found.
They replaced Russian business magnate Alisher Usmanov at the top after the Arsenal shareholder saw his fortune fall to £10.65 billion, the Sunday Times Rich List said.
The richest Briton, the Duke of Westminster, is ranked 10th on the list after his fortune rose to £8.5 billion.
Last year, 88 billionaires were living in the UK, worth a total of more than £245 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. In 2004, the number of billionaires in Britain was 30, with a combined wealth of £65 billion, it said.
Among the new members of the billionaire club is West End producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who saw his fortune rise by £175 million in the last year and is now worth £1 billion, the survey found.
Plymouth-born Chris Dawson, who owns and runs The Range discount store chain, saw his fortune rise by £695 million in the past 12 months to net £1.28 billion.
Meanwhile, Jon Hunt, founder of estate agents Foxtons, has a £1.07 billion fortune, up £145 million in 2013, the Sunday Times Rich List said.
Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley and Sir Richard Branson are among the UK’s top 25 wealthiest billionaires.
In Scotland, Sir Brian Souter and Ann Gloag, the siblings who founded the Stagecoach transport empire, share a fortune of £1 billion – an increase of £270 million on last year.
The wealthiest new entry is Carrie and Francois Perrodo and their family, who own the London-based Perenco oil and gas operation and are said to be worth £6.14 billion.
It is the first time since 2008 that the minimum wealth of the 50 richest people in the country has exceeded £1.5 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
A decade ago, a personal fortune of £700 million was needed to be among Britain’s 50 wealthiest people. The entry point to the UK top 50 today is £1.7 billion, the Sunday Times Rich List found.
The combined wealth of the Britain’s super rich is now ahead of the pre-recession levels of 2008, when the total wealth of the UK’s 75 billionaires was £201 billion.
Seventy two billionaires are now based in London, compared with 48 sterling-equivalent billionaires in Moscow, 43 in New York, 42 in San Francisco, 38 in Los Angeles and 34 in Hong Kong.
The 2014 Sunday Times Rich List will be published on May 18.