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India’s band of billionaires is the biggest in Asia

LN Mittal leads the lot of 36 Indians who figure in Forbes' list of world's richest, reports Narayanan Madhavan.

business Updated: Mar 10, 2007 04:56 IST

When an economic boom arrives, can billionaires be far behind? India's international profile rose higher on Thursday as Forbes magazine unveiled this year’s list of the world’s richest people, with Indians and Russians finding a new prominence.

In Asia, India has the highest number of billionaires, even more than Japan, which for two decades had held the top spot in this continent's list. India has 36 billionaires worth a total $191 billion (Rs 860,000 crore) while Japan's 24 billionaires were worth $64 billion, the magazine said.

London-based steel magnate Lakshmi Niwas Mittal , the richest Indian, sitting on $32 billion, has been ranked fifth in the world list.

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani holds the 14th slot with total assets of $20.1 billion, while brother Anil Ambani, with $18.2 billion, is at number 18. Wipro's Azim Premji with $17.1 billion stands in the 21st position.

Realty giant DLF's K.P. Singh with $10 billion is at the 62nd position, followed by Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Telecom and family at the 69th spot with $9.5 billion. Industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and Essar's Shashi and Ravi Ruia are tied at 86th place.

Real-estate firm Unitech’s chairman Ramesh Chandra, construction magnate Pallonji Mistry and Adi Godrej and family are the others among the top 10 billionaires.

(With agency inputs)