Two sets of Indian-origin siblings dominate the annual tally of Britain’s wealthiest as the Hinduja and Reuben brothers share the second spot with a fortune of 16 billion pounds each, while British inventor-entrepreneur James Dyson tops ‘The Sunday Times Rich List 2020’ with 16.2 billion pounds Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, who run the Hinduja Group of companies, lost 6 billion pounds to slip from the top slot in last year’s list. Mumbai-born David and Simon Reuben lost 2.66 billion pounds over the past year, but their second position in the tally remains unchanged from 2019.
The coronavirus pandemic is seen as a major factor behind the fall in the overall wealth of the UK’s richest people.
“Few people lost more money in the Indian stock market during the coronavirus-induced crash than the Hinduja brothers. One analysis suggested their listed businesses shed at least 67 per cent of their value in March before rallying last month,” notes the newspaper analysis.
“The share price has halved at their lorry-maker Ashok Leyland over the past year and fallen even more sharply at IndusInd, their Pune-based banking outfit, with the brothers trying to increase their holding while the stock remains cheap. Elsewhere, the oil price has plummeted into negative territory, hitting their oil and lubricants division Gulf, while its marine arm has also been laid low by the downturn in world trade,” it adds.
Dyson, in comparison, had a good year with rising sales for his products in China and other international markets adding 3.6 billion pounds to his fortunes, for him to emerge the richest on the list for the first time.