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Rediff.com  » News » Ash world's most beautiful woman: Hello!

Ash world's most beautiful woman: Hello!

January 17, 2004 04:10 IST

India holds the commanding heights in beauty and wealth, according to two new reports that have been published this weekend in London.

Readers of celebrity magazine Hello! have voted Aishwarya Rai the world's most beautiful woman, beating Kei Knightley and Nicole Kidman who came second and third respectively in the same poll.

Former Miss World Aishwarya has gone from strength to strength since winning her title in 1994. To date she has starred in 27 films and is currently in negotiation with the makers of the Bond movies to star alongside Pierce Brosnan in the next 007 blockbuster.

What Aishwarya is to the world of beauty, Lakshmi Mittal and the Hinduja brothers are to the world of finance.

At least that is the conclusion of an Evening Standard newspaper assessment, which ranks Mittal and the Hindujas as the third and seventh richest citizens of London.

The Standard's survey, which estimates 53-year-old Mittal's wealth at £2,500 million, describing him as a steel tycoon who has gobbled up 'run down state owned steel plants in the old communist bloc, turning them around with investment and new management.

"He has his headquarters in London, though no steel operations in the United Kingdom," the survey adds. "It is a central place for his far flung empire and he clocks up 35,000 miles a year travelling in his Gulfstream jet to steel plants such as Kazakhstan."

The Standard says of Srichand Hinduja 68, and Gopichand Hinduja, 63, that the brothers' fortune dates from oil trading started by their late father during the days of the Shah of Iran.

"But their main sources of wealth are their Indian operations in finance, telecom and vehicles, taking them (their wealth) to £1.8 billion.

The brothers are known to love the company of powerful politicians, who have flocked to their annual Diwali parties. Guests have included the past three (British) prime ministers.

Shyam Bhatia in London