By Yoshita Singh
India has the third highest number of billionaires in the world after the US and China, according to a new list by the prestigious Forbes magazine, which said Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani reclaimed his spot as Asia’s richest person, dethroning Chinese business tycoon Jack Ma who was the richest person in the region a year ago.
Forbes’ 35th annual list of the world’s billionaires is topped by Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos for the fourth year in a row.
His net worth is USD 177 billion, up USD 64 billion from a year ago as a result of surging Amazon shares, Forbes said.
On the second spot is SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who was the biggest gainer in dollar terms. Musk’s fortune ballooned to USD 151 billion, a whopping USD 126.4 billion more than a year ago, when he had ranked 31 and was worth USD 24.6 billion, it said.
“The main reason: a 705 per cent climb in Tesla shares,” Forbes said.
Ambani, the richest person in India and also the wealthiest in Asia, is ranked 10 on the global billionaires’ list. He reclaimed his spot as Asia’s richest person with a net worth of USD 84.5 billion.
Ambani “has become the richest person in Asia, ranked Number 10 and worth an estimated USD 84.5 billion. He nudges out Jack Ma of China, Asia’s richest person a year ago, whose rank dropped to 26 (from 17 last year) despite a nearly USD 10 billion jump in his fortune to USD 48.4 billion,” Forbes said.
Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani, the second richest person in India, is ranked 24th on the global list of billionaires with a net worth of USD 50.5 billion.
Chairman of the Poonawalla Group and founder of the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, Cyrus Poonawalla is ranked 169th on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires with a net worth of USD 12.7 billion.
Poonawalla ranks seven on the list of Indian billionaires. Founder of HCL Technologies Shiv Nadar, the third richest person in India, is ranked 71st globally and has a net worth of USD 23.5 billion.
“The three richest Indians alone have added just over USD 100 billion between them,” Forbes said.
At 724, the US has more billionaires than any other country in the world (up from 614 last year). China is “closing the gap” with 698 billionaires, up from 456 last year.
“As a result of the gains in China, Beijing is home to more billionaires than anywhere in the world, overtaking New York City,” Forbes said.
India has the third highest number of billionaires, with 140, followed by Germany with 136 and Russia with 117.
Forbes said the 1,149 billionaires from Asia-Pacific countries together are worth USD 4.7 trillion, while the US billionaires are worth a total USD 4.4 trillion.
On the global list, 106 are under 40. The youngest billionaire is 18-year-old Kevin David Lehmann of Germany, whose father Guenther Lehmann transferred his stake in drugstore chain dm-drogerie mkt to him. His worth is USD 3.3 billion and ranks 925 on the list, while the oldest billionaire is 99-year old US insurance tycoon George Joseph, it said.
The number of billionaires on Forbes’ 35th annual list of the world’s wealthiest exploded to an unprecedented 2,755 — 660 more than a year ago, altogether worth USD 13.1 trillion, it said.
There are a record high 493 newcomers to the list, “roughly one new billionaire every 17 hours, including 210 from China and Hong Kong and 98 from the US”
French billionaire Bernard Arnault, who oversees an empire of 70 brands, including Louis Vuitton and Sephora, is the third richest person in the world with a net worth of USD 150 billion, followed by chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates (USD 124 billion), Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (USD 97 billion).
The top 10 richest are worth USD 1.15 trillion, up by two-thirds from USD 686 billion last year. Altogether, Europe’s billionaires are USD 1 trillion richer than a year ago.
The richest woman this year is cosmetics heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers of France, who with a net worth of USD 73.6 billion is ranked 12th.
India’s top 10 billionaires include DMart founder Radhakishan Damani, Kotak Mahindra Bank CEO Uday Kotak, Executive Chairman of ArcelorMittal Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group Kumar Mangalam Birla, founder of Sun Pharmaceuticals Dilip Shanghvi and Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises Sunil Mittal. PTI