Washington, Oct 29 (IANS) Mukesh Ambani remains India’s richest person with a wealth of $21 billion as India’s 100 richest expanded their wealth by a modest three percent from a year ago to $259 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
The latest Forbes rich list released Tuesday says that though the wealth of the oil and gas tycoon behind Reliance Industries remains unchanged from a year ago, he remains bullish and plans to invest $25 billion in his businesses over the next three years.
Growth in wealth was lacklustre due to India’s stumbling economy, which has been hit by inflation and a falling rupee, the US business magazine said.
Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal is at No.2 with wealth of $16 billion, also unchanged from a year ago. His company, ArcelorMittal continues to face weak demand for steel amid a global supply glut.
Bucking the trend is pharmaceutical magnate, Dilip Shanghvi, founder of the country’s most valuable drugmaker, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, who moved into the No.3 spot for the first time, Forbes said.
This year’s biggest dollar gainer with wealth of $13.9 billion, Shanghvi added $4.7 billion to his fortune, which accounted for half of the overall three percent gain.
Azim Premji is No.4 on the list with wealth of $13.8 billion, up $1.6 billion from a year ago.
He was followed by Pallonji Mistry, $12.5 billion at No.5; Hinduja brothers, $9 billion at No.6; Shiv Nadar, $8.6 billion at No.7; Adi Godrej, $8.3 billion at No.8; Kumar Mangalam Birla, $7.6 billion at No.; and Sunil Mittal, $6.6 billion at No.10.
There are 65 billionaires on the list, four more than last year. Some of those new billion-dollar fortunes were made not in India but in the Middle East, Forbes noted.
Bahrain resident Ravi Pillai, the richest newcomer on this year’s list, made his $1.7 billion fortune in Saudi Arabia with his construction business, Nasser S Al-Hajri Corp; and retail mogul M.A. Yusuff Ali, created his $1.6 billion wealth with his Lulu Group in Abu Dhabi.
There are 15 newcomers, and many old names have slipped down the list or fallen off.
More than half of last year’s rich listers who returned to the ranks saw their fortune fall, including Savitri Jindal who lost $3.3 billion. The minimum net worth to make the cut increased to $635 million from $460 million last year.