India's richest: Mukesh Ambani tops with $32-bn wealth


 Mittal, who lives in London but holds an Indian passport, is ranked second with a net worth of 30 billion dollars, while Mukesh's estranged younger brother Anil comes third with 17.5 billion dollars of wealth.

Together, the three have seen their wealth grow by over 25 billion dollars, Forbes said, while listing out the 100 richest persons from the country.

The collective wealth of these 100 richest Indians, which includes 52 billionaires as against 27 a year ago, is 276 billion dollars (nearly Rs 13 lakh crore), which corresponds to almost one-fourth of the country's GDP.

The surge in their wealth, which hit a nadir when the last annual list came out a year ago in the midst of a global economic downturn, has been attributed to a rebound in stock markets in the country as also the "still buoyant economy".

The stock market has appreciated by about two-third in the past one year and the economy is still growing at a minimum of six per cent, thus making the country home to 52 billionaires, Forbes said.

This is nearly double from 27 last November and just shy of a record of 54 in 2007 at the peak of stock market boom.

While the top three of the pack have retained their respective positions for second year in a row, telecom czar Sunil Mittal has slipped from fourth place to eighth and IT veteran Azim Premji has moved up to fourth.

Besides, Adi Godrej, who heads a diversified conglomerate, have moved out of the top-ten league and Essar group's Ruia brothers have entered the top-five club.

The richest of all, Mukesh Ambani saw his wealth grow 54 per cent from 21 billion dollars a year ago, while that of Lakshmi Mittal and Anil Ambani are also up by 46 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. The networth of Mittal and Anil stood at 20.5 billion dollars and 12 billion dollars a year ago, respectively.

Overall, the top three billionaires of India are worth USD 79.5 billion, which is USD 25.7 billion more than their combined sum a year ago.

Wipro Chirman Azim Premji and Essar Group's Shashi & Ravi Ruia are ranked fourth and fifth with net worth of USD 14.9 billion and USD 13.6 billion, respectively.

"Happier days are here again for India's super rich, thanks to a rebounding stock market, up two-thirds in the past year, and a still buoyant economy that's growing at least 6 per cent a year," the US business magazine said.

The magazine noted that the nation's richest beat their Chinese counterparts when it came to their fortunes.

India's 100 richest are worth over 100 billion dollars more than the total net worth of 170 billion dollars of their counterparts in China. This is despite China having more billionaires -- 79 as against India's 52.

Besides, the richest Indian has a fortune more than five times the 5.8 billion dollars of China's richest citizen Wang Chuanfu. The list for China was compiled earlier this month. Since the, Chuanfu's wealth has further eroded.

The top-10 Indian billionaires are worth USD 155 billion, a 60 per cent increase over last year and four times that of China's top 10.

Others in the top ten club include-- realtor KP Singh (6th with 13.5 billion dollars), OP Jindal group Chairperson Savitri Jindal (7th with 12 billion dollars), telecon czar Sunil Mittal (8th with 8.2 billion dollars), Birla Group's Kumar Mangalam Birla (9th with 7.8 billion dollars), Adani group head Gautam Adani (10th with 6.4 billion dollars).

Forbes said the latest list reinforces the belief that India has scale and potential to produce billionaires faster than most of the countries on earth, if conditions in financial markets and economy were right.

It further noted that there was clear evidence about enterpreneurial capitalism "alive and kicking" in the country and the wealth creation was a broad-based phenomenon here.
However, there are only six women among the 100 richest and the wealthiest among them is Savitri Jindal.

The richest newcomers are two brothers-- Sudhir and Samir Mehta of Torrest Power, who are together ranked 23rd with a net worth of 2.02 billion dollars.

Media business veteran Kalanithi Maran, who heads Sun TV group, is ranked 20th and saw his wealth nearly doubling to 2.3 billion dollars.

Forbes said that a recovering real estate market was one of the biggest sources of wealth, as many as 14 from this scetor made it in the top-100 list. While 13 tycoons earned their net worth in pharmaceutical industry. These included Cyrus Poonawala and Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the country's richest self-made woman.

The IT sector also produced some of the richest in the country -- including Wipro's Azim Premji (4th), HCL group's Shiv Nadar (ranked 15th) and as many as five from Infosys alone.

Forbes said that Indian business tycoons did not go on a global hunt to expand their empires this year, unlike past two years, with an exception of Sunil Mittal who also failed in his endeavour to strike a mega-merger deal with South African telecom giant MTN.

Forbes list

Following is the Forbes list of 25 richest people in India. Rank Name Net Worth (in $ bln) 1. Mukesh Ambani 32 2. Lakshmi Mittal 30 3. Anil Ambani 17.5 4. Azim Premji 14.9 5. Shashi & Ravi Ruia 13.6 6. KP Singh 13.5 7. Savitri Jindal 12 8. Sunil Mittal 8.2 9. Kumar Birla 7.8 10. Gautam Adani 6.4 11. Anil Agarwal 6.3 12. Adi Godrej 5.4 13. GM Rao 4.3 14. Dilip Shanghvi 4.1 15. Shiv Nadar 3.7 16. Uday Kotak 3.3 17 Malvinder& Shivinder Singh 3 18. Subhash Chandra 2.7 19. Indu Jain 2.4 20. Kalanithi Maran 2.3 21. Anand Burman 2.25 22. Brijmohan Lall Munjal 2.2 23. Sudhir & Samir Mehta 2.02 24. Cyrus Poonawalla 2 25. Ramesh Chandra 1.95

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