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    Richest Britons see wealth drop

    27 Nisan 2009 - 00:00Son Güncelleme : 26 Nisan 2009 - 17:30

    LONDON - The fortunes of the U.K.’s 1,000 wealthiest people plunged 37 percent in the last year, driven by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, according to the annual Sunday Times Rich list.

    Lakshmi Mittal, 58, chief executive officer of ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, headed the list for the fifth year in a row, even as his net worth tumbled 61 percent. Roman Abramovich, the Russian-born billionaire who bought London’s Chelsea football club in 2003, was again second on the list with a fortune of 7 billion pounds, down 40 percent.

    The combined net worth of individuals on the list was 258 billion pounds ($379 billion), compared with a record 413 billion pounds a year ago, Philip Beresford, the list’s compiler, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

    No member of the top 10 became wealthier during the year. The list is based on identifiable wealth, including property and stakeholdings in publicly held companies, and excludes bank accounts.

    Mittal’s net worth slid as ArcelorMittal’s share price fell 64 percent in the year. The highest-placed British-born billionaire was the Duke of Westminster, whose ancestral land holdings in London are among the most expensive properties in the nation. The net wroth of the Duke, who ranked No. 3 again, fell 7 percent to 6.5 billion pounds.

    Alisher Usmanov dropped to 18th place from fifth after his fortune plunged 82 percent. Brothers Sri Hinduja and Gopi Hinduja didn’t qualify for the top 10. New to the top 10 were Charlene de Carvalho and Michel de Carvalho, respectively the daughter of former Heineken chief executive Alfred Heineken and the vice chairman of Citigroup, and Israeli billionaires Sammy Ofer and Eyal Ofer.


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