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Mukesh Ambani is India's richest

Mukesh Ambani has emerged the wealthiest person in India with a net worth of $32 billion, as the number of Indian billionaires in Forbes' "India Rich List" this year has nearly doubled to 52, thanks to the rebound in stock markets.

business Updated: Nov 19, 2009 19:07 IST

Mukesh Ambani has emerged the wealthiest person in India with a net worth of $32 billion, as the number of Indian billionaires in Forbes' "India Rich List" this year has nearly doubled to 52, thanks to the rebound in stock markets.

London-based Lakshmi N. Mittal with $30 billion, Anil Ambani with $17.5 billion, Azim Premji with $14.9 billion, Shashi and Ravi Ruia with $13.6 billion and K.P. Singh with $13.5 billion make up the top five billionaires on this year's list.

"The combined net worth of India's 100 richest people is $276 billion - almost a quarter of the country's gross domestic product," the magazine said, adding the number of Indian billionaires has also nearly doubled from 27 last year.

The number of Indian billionaires now is just two short of the peak reached in 2007 when the stock markets were booming.

"The head of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, is once again the wealthiest person in India. His net worth is put at $32 billion, an increase of 54 percent from nearly $21 billion last year."

While Mittal's net worth has jumped 46 percent, Anil Ambani has seen the value of his assets jump 40 percent.

"The story also highlights interesting differences between the rich in India and China. The 100 richest Indians are worth $276 billion: Their Chinese counterparts have a net worth of $170 billion," the magazine said.

"The list is also an indicator of how India's billionaires have done better than their counterparts in other parts of the world."

Forbes said even though the top 10 positions remain largely unchanged, there are some shifts in the fortunes of some. Sunil Mittal moved down from fourth position to eighth, while Premji moved up to fourth and the Ruias to Number 5.

Adi Godrej moved out of the top 10 to the number 12, while Savitri Jindal, non-executive chairperson of the O.P. Jindal group, made it to Number 7 and is one of only six women on the list.

The richest newcomers are two brothers of Torrent Power, Sudhir and Samir Mehta, ranked 23, even as another notable mention is Nandan Nilekani who stepped down from Infosys to join the government and ranks 43 with a net worth of $1.25 billion.

"Southern India's TV king, Kalanithi Maran, ranked 20, almost doubled his net worth to $2.3 billion from $1.2 billion," said the magazine, adding that it had featured him in a cover story.

The top 10 richest in India are:

1. Mukesh Ambani $32 billion

2. Lakshmi Mittal $30 billion

3. Anil Ambani $17.5 billion

4. Azim Premji $14.9 billion

5. Shashi & Ravi Ruia $13.6 billion

6. K.P. Singh $13.5 billion

7. Savitri Jindal $12 billion

8. Sunil Mittal $8.2 billion

9. Kumar Birla $7.8 billion

10. Gautam Adani $6.4 billion

Billionnaires, but the following did not make the top 40 cut:

41. Niranjan Hiranandani $1.32 billion

42. Desh Bandhu Gupta $1.30 billion

43. Nandan Nilekani $1.25 billion

44. Pankaj Patel $1.21 billion

45. Vikas Oberoi $1.20 billion

46. Senapathy Gopalakrishnan $1.15 billion

47. G.V. Krishna Reddy $1.07 billion

48. Ajay Piramal $1.06 billion

49. Vinod Goenka $1.05 billion

50. Shahid Balwa $1.02 billion

51. Virendra Mhaiskar $1.01 billion

52. Anand Jain $1.00 billion