Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Sunday, 26 April 2009 10:22 UK

Water tycoon 'Scotland's richest'

The billionaire owner of the Highland Spring bottled water company has been named as Scotland's richest man.

The latest Sunday Times Rich List said Mahdi al-Tajir's wealth stood at £1.5bn - making him the 18th richest man in the UK.

But the survey said Mr al-Tajir was not immune to the recession as his fortune fell by £700m since 2008.

Sir Ian Wood, chairman of the wood Group engineering company, was second on the list with £747m.

As well as owning Perthshire-based Highland Spring, Mr al-Tajir, 77, has interests in oil and gas, metal and property.

He is a former United Arab Emirates ambassador to the UK, and owns an 18,000-acre estate in Perthshire, as well as a home in London.

The Rich List showed that many of Scotland's wealthiest people had lost large amounts of their fortune during last year's economic crisis.

Among the biggest losers were construction boss Keith Miller, whose fortune plummeted from £730m to £180m.

Stewart Milne, chairman of Aberdeen FC and founder of the Stewart Milne property group, saw his wealth drop from £400m to £90m.

Other famous Scottish names on the Rich List were Rangers owner David Murray, who is worth £500m - £220m less than a year ago - and Harry Potter author JK Rowling with £499m.

Sports Division founder Sir Tom Hunter, who became Scotland's first home-grown billionaire in 2007, requested his name be taken off the Rich List because he has pledged to give the majority of his wealth to charity and therefore does not consider it to be his money.



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