Indian tycoons surpass Chinese tech moguls in global rich list
India’s industrial moguls Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani have swept past the likes of China’s Jack Ma in global wealth rankings as the fortunes of leading billionaires in two of Asia’s largest economies diverge.
The wealth of Ambani, chair of conglomerate Reliance Industries, and infrastructure mogul Adani have jumped to $84bn and $78bn respectively, according to Bloomberg data, making them Asia’s richest businesspeople.
That reflects the growing power of India’s biggest corporate groups as the Covid-19 pandemic squeezes smaller competitors and leaves investors with few options for betting on the country’s economic rebound, analysts said.
Ambani and Adani have received a boost from stock rallies in the companies they control even as a second wave of Covid-19 tore across the country. The Nifty 50 index, which tracks India’s 50 largest companies, has risen about 10 per cent from its low in April as investors anticipate a recovery in domestic demand.
Ambani is the world’s 12th richest person, according to Bloomberg, one place behind former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.
Saurabh Mukherjea, founder of Marcellus Investment Managers, said the pair’s ascent showed how profits among Indian businesses were increasingly flowing to a handful of dominant industrialists, known as “promoters”.
“Promoters across sectors whose ambit was hitherto regional are able to spread their wings nationally,” he said. “A mix of private equity, venture capital and the stock market is financing that, and you’re getting immense polarisation of wealth.”
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