Mittal tops UK rich list with £27.7bn

Britain's rich are getting richer despite the global credit crunch and are now worth more than £400 billion ($790bn). The Sunday Times newspaper said the collective worth of the top 1,000 in its annual Rich List rose £53bn in the past 12 months to £412.8bn.

The fortune owned by Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and his family grew £8.4bn to £27.7bn thanks to booming demand for steel. They top the list for the fourth consecutive year.

Second comes Russian oil tycoon Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea football club, whose coffers expanded by £900 million to £11.7bn. Although neither man is British they are resident in the country.

In third place is the Duke of Westminster whose property portfolio, much of it in select areas of London, stands at an unchanged £7bn.

But there are signs the credit crunch and an economic slowdown are taking their toll. Islamic art and property mogul David Khalili saw his fortune slashed £3.3bn to £2.5bn and the worth of fashion retailer Philip Green dropped £570m to £4.3bn.

The Sunday Times said 762 of the richest 1,000 people were self-made millionaires with land and property being the largest single source of their wealth.

Harry Potter creator JK Rowling's fortune was put at £560m after £545m a year ago, making her yet again Britain's richest author. Daniel Radcliffe, the 18-year-old star of the Harry Potter films, is on £20m.

The newspaper put former Beatle Paul McCartney's wealth at £500m, close to the £400m calculated by the judge in his acrimonious divorce case this year from Heather Mills, but well short of the £800m she said he was worth. His fortune was revised down from £725m.

Virgin tycoon Richard Branson dropped from 11th place to 20th as his empire plunged by £400m to £2.7bn.

Queen Elizabeth II has £320m, putting her at number 264 in the list. Her grandchildren Princes William and Harry have a joint fortune worth £35m.

Other veteran musicians feature prominently, with Madonna and film director husband Guy Ritchie worth £300m, Elton John worth £235m, Mick Jagger worth £225m and Sting on £200m.

Footballer David Beckham and his pop star wife Victoria went up £13m to £125m.

England striker Michael Owen topped the list of British-based footballers with a £41m fortune.

Two new figures on the list feature in the top 10. Steel and mines magnate Alisher Usmanov comes in at number five with £5.8bn, one place ahead of pharmaceuticals couple Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli. The former Miss United Kingdom beauty contest winner and her husband sit on a fortune of £5.65bn. (Agencies)