London, Dec 28 (PTI) Britain s richie-rich club saw their wealth melting away by more than half to 200 billion pounds in a year marked with a severe economic downturn, while Indian- origin steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal took the biggest hit.
With the net worth of some billionaires getting hit by as much as 90 per cent, Mittal and another Indian-origin business tycoon in Britain Anil Agarwal are among those having sufferred the biggest losses, The Sunday Times reported.
Research for the 2009 Sunday Times Rich List, to be published in the spring, suggests that the fortunes of the 1,000 wealthiest people in the UK have fallen more than 50 per cent from 412.8 billion pounds in the list for 2008 to about 200 billion pounds, the report said.
Topping the list of those witnessing their fortunes decline most spectacularly include Lakshmi Mittal, the steel magnate, who has topped the Rich List for the past four years and who, in this year s list, had family wealth of 27.7 billion pounds. He is now worth about 11 billion pounds.
The mining tycoon Anil Agarwal has seen almost 1.5 billion pounds knocked off the value of his stake in Vedanta Resources. He now has less than 1 billion pounds, the report noted.
Terming Mittal as the biggest faller of all, the report said that at the start of this year, his family stake in the world s biggest steel company ArcelorMittal was worth 25 billion pounds, but then soared to more than 33 billion pounds in the summer.
That stake is now down to 9.5 billion pounds. The report quoted a spokesperson for Mittal as saying, He doesn t comment on his personal affairs. He is hardly immune to things but he is not affected by them the way most people might be.