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Sunday, April 11, 1999 Published at 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK


Rich getting richer and younger

Loadsamoney: DJ Chris Evans moves up the money charts

The UK's millionaires are getting younger, richer and quicker according to a report of the wealthiest 1,000 individuals or families.

The list also contains more women than ever before and more people of Asian origin.

The BBC's Sally Attard: Dreams are made of this
At the top of the pile is the son of the man who invented the cardboard milk carton.

The British-based Swedish industrialist Hans Rausing has toppled Lord Sainsbury, of the family supermarket company, from the top of the Sunday Times Rich List.

The list puts 73-year-old Mr Rausing's fortune at £3.4bn. Lord Sainsbury and family are in second place with £3.1bn.

Mr Rausing's father Ruben patented the box-shaped beverage container 30 years ago, making his company Tetra Pak into one of the world's largest paper-packaging businesses.

[ image: Lord Sainsbury: Ousted from first place]
Lord Sainsbury: Ousted from first place
Hans Rausing, who came second in last year's list, sold his stake in the company, now called Tetra Laval, to his Swiss-based brother Gad in 1995.

Third place in the list, which shows the top 1,000 richest people in the UK, goes to the Hungarian-born financier George Soros, who has a £2bn fortune. He has moved from 29th position in last year's list.

London-born financier Joseph Lewis and the Duke of Westminster are in equal fourth position, with £1.75bn each.

Internet boom

The BBC's Liz McKean: "The young are showing business acumen"
According to the Sunday Times report, Britain's top earners are younger and richer than ever before.

The full list shows that a strong stock market and the Internet boom are contributing to making the wealthiest people in the UK wealthier than ever.

The combined wealth for the UK's richest 1,000 people is now £114,829bn compared to £108,525bn in 1998.

[ image: Stock market: Helped to line pockets]
Stock market: Helped to line pockets
The list also has more women and more people from ethnic minorities than ever before.

The richest woman in Britain is said to be Lady Grantchester, 73, head of the Littlewoods mail order and football pools empire. She is worth £1.5bn, and is in equal sixth position.

According to its editor, Philip Beresford, the trickle-down from a buoyant stock market is the main reason for the big increase in wealth.

Mr Beresford, who has now compiled the list for 11 years, said: "Everyone is getting much much richer because of booming stock markets.

"Everyone on the rich list is getting the equivalent of winning the jackpot in the National Lottery several times over."

He said there were increasing numbers of younger people joining the elite who had spotted a specific market and launched a successful business.

One young millionaire rising swiftly up the list is television and radio star Chris Evans.

The 33-year-old, boss of the Ginger Media Group, is in 281st equal position with £85m - a move up from 668th equal with £30m last year.

[ image: Net gains on the Internet]
Net gains on the Internet
Among the new entries are the partners behind the sandwich shop chain, Pret A Manger.

Julian Metcalfe and Sinclair Beecham share 675th position in this year's list, with £33m each.

The pair began the chain with a £17,000 bank loan in London in 1986 and now have 70 stores, mainly in the capital.

Other young millionaires on the list include Stelios Haji-Ioannou, 32, who formed the Luton-based discount airline easyJet in 1995.

The son of a Greek shipping magnate, he is ranked 124th with £187m.

Young shun 'boring professions'

Charles Dunstone, 34, is in 170th place with £130m, made from the mobile phone shop firm Carphone Warehouse which he set up 10 years ago.

The founder of the Legendary Joe Bloggs fashion empire, 36-year-old Shami Ahmed, is worth £60m and is listed in equal 384th position.

Mr Beresford said: "These are the sort of young people in their thirties who, 30 years ago, might have become lawyers and accountants, but now do not want to go into boring professions and prefer to run their own businesses."

Other notable new entries include the Bee Gees, in at 266 with £90m, and dancer Michael Flatley, at 471 with £50m.

Nightclub entrepreneur Peter Stringfellow, and Toni Mascolo, founder of the hairdressing chain Toni & Guy, are also first time entries on the list at 971 and 329 respectively.

Former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, has consolidated his position as Britain's highest paid pop star, topping the list of music millionaires for the second year running.

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