Blavatnik becomes UK's wealthiest with £23bn fortune

Photo: AP Roman Abramovich was eighth position after his fortune rose to £12.1bn.

The Ukrainian-born oil and media mogul Leonard Blavatnik was crowned by The Sunday Times as the richest person in UK, BBC reported. Blavatnik’s personal wealth is valued at some 23 billion pounds. He saw his wealth surge by £7.2bn only throughout last year. He took the crown James Dyson, whose wealth rose by only £100m to £16.3bn, leaving him in fourth place.

There are now a record 171 billionaires in UK, with their wealth rising 21.7% during the pandemic to £597.2bn. Blavatnik made his fortune in Russia where he owned stakes worth billions of pounds in companies selling metal and oil. He is a notoriously-private man, and holds both US and UK citizenship. His wealth was boosted by the proceeds of a £1.37bn stake in Warner, which he received when it listed on the stock market in the US last year.

Property investor brothers David and Simon Reuben were in second place after their fortune grew by £5.46bn to £21.46bn. Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who run the Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group, took third spot after their wealth rose by £1bn. Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, in fifth place, saw the biggest rise in wealth of any billionaire in the past 12 months, with gains of around £7.9bn, largely based on the rise in value of his ArcelorMittal steel-making business. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was in eighth position after his fortune rose by £1.9bn to £12.1bn. The total of 171 billionaires in the latest Rich List is higher than the previous record of 151 set in 2019. The study found the richest 250 people in the UK this year are worth £658.1bn, up from £565.7bn last year, a rise of 16.3%.

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