Billions wiped off UK ‘rich list’

Lakshmi Mittal is estimated to be worth $15.9 billion.
Lakshmi Mittal lost about $25 billion in the past year. But don’t feel too bad for the steel magnate.

Mittal remains Britain’s richest man, worth an estimated $15.9 billion, according to the Sunday Times’ annual Rich List. Mittal took a particularly big hit — losing 61 percent of his wealth, the London newspaper said. But he was far from alone. Russian-born oil magnate Roman Abramovich, who owns English Premier League side Chelsea, is worth a hair over $10 billion, down from more than $17 billion last year. That $10 billion is still good enough to get him second spot on the list. Richard Branson, the long-haired, bearded adventurer and entrepreneur behind Virgin Atlantic, lost $2.2 billion, leaving him in 32nd place with about $1.7 billion. The top 100 richest people on the list are worth about $135 billion less this year than they were last spring, the paper found, and the top 1,000 lost a collective $228 billion — the biggest fall since the paper began compiling the list 21 years ago, it said. Their list includes only 43 billionaires, down from 75 last year. The list is based on their value in British pounds Andrew Lloyd-Webber, the composer of Cats, Phantom of the Opera and other smash-hit musicals, is the highest-ranking entertainer on the list. He’s tied for 52nd place, with about $1.1 billion. The highest new entry on the chart is Slavica Ecclestone, worth about $1 billion after divorcing Bernie Ecclestone, the magnate behind Formula One motor racing. Ecclestone himself is 24th on list, sitting on a fortune of just over $2 billion. Former Beatle Paul McCartney is ranked 120th, with about $647 million. Rolling Stone Mick Jagger sits on $279 million, good for 297th place. Sting is not far behind, at 309th, with $265 million. Elton John was 322nd with $257 million — but 7th on the list of most generous donors, having recently given away $61.6 million to HIV/AIDS and other medical charities, humanitarians causes and the arts. Actress Uma Thurman and her financier husband Arpad Busson also punched well above their weight on the charitable list, giving an estimated $63 million to HIV/AIDS charities and organizations supporting children and education. They’re worth an estimated $154 million, making them joint 510th on the rich list, but they’re 4th on the charity list. Queen Elizabeth II showed that even monarchs are not immune from falling stock and property prices. Her personal fortune fell to about $397 million (excluding the Crown Estate and royal art collection, which the Sunday Times estimates is worth $23.5 billion.) She can take consolation in having risen on the list even as her wealth has fallen: she’s ranked 214th now, up 50 places from a year ago. “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling came in 101st, with an estimated $733 million. Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who plays the boy wizard in the movies, has about $44 million, making him 12th on the paper’s separate list of richest young people. That list also includes soccer stars Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand, Princes William and Harry, and actress Kiera Knightley. The Walton family, which owns Wal-Mart, is the richest in the world, worth an estimated $76.9 billion, the Sunday Times reported. Mittal, Britain’s richest man, is 21st on the world list.