Jasminder Singh top hotelier in Asian rich list

20 April 2006
Jasminder Singh top hotelier in Asian rich list

Leading figures in hospitality have once again topped the Asian rich list.

The travel and tourism sector has four representatives, a figure matched only by pharmaceuticals.

Total wealth from the four entries totals £713m.

Jasminder Singh comes in at number five on the list and tops the entries from the hotel sector. Valued at £350m he is chairman of the Radisson Edwardian hotel group.

Born in Tanzania, Singh founded the Edwardian hotel group in 1977 and later joined with Radisson in 1993. He spent £115m in 2003 acquiring the InterContinental in Mayfair.

Firoz Kassam, at number 10, is next on the list. He recently bought Alexandra Palace for £50m leasehold and operates the London franchise for Holiday Inn.

Valued at £175m, he also owns hotels, golf courses and an Oxfordshire country estate. Also from Tanzania, Kassam started washing dishes in a restaurant before running his own fish-and-chip shop and then making his fortune. He sold Oxford United football club for £2m in March this year.

Harpal Matharu and his family are in at 17 on the list with a £98m fortune from their Grange Hotels business. Along with his brothers Raj and Tony, he converts offices into luxury hotels and the 200-bedroom Holborn Grange in London is their latest project.

Finally, Surinder Arora makes it onto the list at number 19 with a £90m fortune . He and his family made their wealth by building the first hotel for airline crew at Heathrow and now have another at Gatwick. The family has just won the contract to develop a Sofitel at Heathrow's terminal 5. Arora also co-owns a Manchester hotel with Cliff Richard.

The rich list was compiled by Asian newspaper Eastern Eye and the Daily Telegraph.

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By Alix Young

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