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The billionaires' favourite playground

Monday, May 12, 2014 - 02:13

May 12 - The number of billionaires in the UK has exceeded 100 for the first time, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. And as Ivor Bennett reports London is now home to more super-rich than any other city in the world.

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It's seen as a risky business. But for Cameron Mackintosh, London's threatreland has been a goldmine. The West End producer is one of Britain's newest billionaires. And the first entertainer to make it onto the illustrious Sunday Times Rich List. His fortune is down to the success of hit musicals like Cats, Les Mis and the Phantom of the Opera. The real money spinner though has been Miss Saigon, now the world's longest running musical. SOUNDBITE (English) IVOR BENNETT, REUTERS REPORTER, SAYING: "The show's just returned to London this month after a 15 year absence, and it's proving more popular than ever. When tickets went on sale back in September it made nearly 4 and a half million pounds on the first day alone, smashing the single day sales records for both the West End and Broadway." The list counts 72 billionaires living in London - more than any other city in the world. The nearest rival is Moscow with 48, while New York has 43. Top of the tree in Britain are the Hinduja brothers - their multinational conglomerate giving a joint wealth of 11.9 billion pounds. It means Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov drops to second, his fortune shrinking by a fifth to 10.6 billion because of a fluctuating rouble. More than half of London's billionaires were born abroad. Richard Hunter from Hargreaves Lansdown explains the city's appeal. SOUNDBITE (English) RICHARD HUNTER, HEAD OF EQUITIES, HARGREAVES LANSDOWN, SAYING: "London has a global reputation as being particularly strong, particularly robust, particularly well-run and as a safe haven for foreign institutional and indeed foreign private investment and that's pretty much what we've seen playing out particularly over the last year and a half." The number of billionaires living in Britain has also swelled, into triple figures for the first time ever. Last year there were 88, this year 104 - boasting a combined wealth of over 300 billion pounds. The jump means the UK has more billionaires per head than any other country, with 1 for every 600-thousand people. In the US, it's one for every 1 million.

The billionaires' favourite playground

Monday, May 12, 2014 - 02:13

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