Mukesh Ambani remains India's richest person

Published: 29 October, 2013 14:22 IST | 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 though the wealth of the oil and gas tycoon behind Reliance Industries remains unchanged from a year ago, remains bullish and plans to invest $25 billion in his businesses over the next three years.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani (file pic)

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 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.

Savitri Jindal is the richest women in India with a net worth of USD 4.9 billion. She is ranked 14 in the list, which is topped by Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani with a fortune of USD 21 billion. Jindal, who has been the chairperson of the O P Jindal Group since her husband Om Prakash's death in 2005, saw her fortune decline by close to USD 10 billion since 2010, amid continuing problems plaguing OP Jindal Group.

"Company halted work in August at two power plants being built in eastern India at cost of USD 2 billion, following death threats from Maoist rebels. Son Sajjan reportedly plans to sell US steel mill to reduce debt at JSW Steel," Forbes said.

Jindal is followed by Bennett, Coleman & Co's Chairperson Indu Jain, who is ranked 29th with a net worth of USD 1.9 billion. Anu Aga of Thermax was ranked 86th on the list with a net worth of USD 730 million, while Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, with a fortune of USD 655 million was ranked 96 on the list.

Referring to Shaw, Forbes said she is the "wealthiest self-made woman in India". Science magazine recently ranked Biocon at No. 6 among the best 20 global biotech employers, ahead of Novo Nordisk and Novartis.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.

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