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The rich get richer as fortunes flower in boom-time UK

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The UK’s rich are getting significantly richer as the fortunes of the nation’s wealthiest 1,000 people grew by 20% in the past year, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2007.

The combined wealth of the top 1,000 now stands at £360bn and there are 68 billionaires in the country – three times the number of 2003.

Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian steel magnate, is the richest person, with an estimated fortune of £19bn, up from £14.8bn last year. In second place, Russian Roman Abramovic, the current owner of Chelsea Football Club, has a pile of assets valued at £10.8bn.

The only person in the top five born in the UK is the Duke of Westminster, with £7bn, much of it comprised by vast estates in London’s Mayfair and Belgravia, and Cheshire, Lancashire and Scotland.

The compilers of the list said that the 20% rise in the UK’s most wealthy compared to the 14.8% rise in the wealth of Europe’s top 50 and an 8.3% increase in the wealth of the world’s richest people.

The UK boom was powered by the “continued buoyancy of the property market”, with 221 of the richest having made their money from property, up from 211 the year before.



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