Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murty's wealth soars by £122m as UK economy struggles

The combined wealth of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, has significantly boomed over the past year by more than £120 million, despite the nationwide UK billionaire boom coming "to an end" due to challenging economic scenarios. According to the latest annual Sunday Times Rich List, they are now worth an impressive £651 million, leaping from £529 million in 2023.

This substantial increase is tied to Ms Murty's small stake in Infosys, a £55.3 billion Indian IT behemoth co-founded by her billionaire father. Last year, her shares increased in value by £108.8 million to approximately £590 million. Despite this boon, the couple's fortunes remain slightly under their 2022 wealth, which sat at around £730 million.

Meanwhile, King Charles wealth saw a slight rise for the year, escalating from £600 million to £610 million. The overarching theme from the most recent list suggests a dwindling number of British billionaires from 177 in peak 2022, falling to 171, and now down to165 in the current year.

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The rationale behind this is pinned on some individuals seeing a drop in private wealth due to high borrowing rates, and others departing the country. Robert Watts, the compiler of the rich list, remarked: "This year's Sunday Times Rich List suggests Britain's billionaire boom has come to an end. Many of our home-grown entrepreneurs have seen their fortunes fall and some of the global super-rich who came here are moving away.

"Thousands of British livelihoods rely on the super-rich to some extent. We'll have to wait and see whether we have now reached peak billionaire, and what that means for our economy." The latest figures show that the collective wealth of Britain's 350 richest individuals and families stands at £795.36 billion. Topping this year's list once again were Gopi Hinduja and his family, the controllers of the multinational Hinduja Group.

The Hinduja family's fortune increased to £37.2 billion this year, up from £35 billion. In contrast, several of the UK's most prominent billionaires experienced a decrease in their wealth over the past year due to tough times for various businesses and investments.

Among them, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Sir James Dyson, and Sir Richard Branson all saw their wealth diminish. Manchester United backer and founder of Ineos, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, suffered the largest loss, with his net worth plunging by more than £6 billion to £23.52 billion.

Sir James Dyson experienced the second largest decrease, with his wealth falling from £23 billion to £20.8 billion. In addition, Sir Richard Branson's fortune took a hit, dropping from £4.2 billion to £2.4 billion following a difficult year for Virgin Galactic.

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