India’s dollar billionaire club has got bigger and fatter this year, powered by a surging stock market that made the old rich get phenomenally richer, while ushering in new billionaires who control growing real estate and infrastructure companies.
Forbes, the US-based magazine that tracks billionaires worldwide, largely on the strength of the share market value of their holdings measured in US dollars, said on Thursday that led by steel baron Lakshmi N. Mittal, who is worth $51 billion, the top four Indian billionaires are collectively measured at $180 billion. That is nearly Rs 7.2 lakh crore.
These four, who include brothers Mukesh Ambani ($49 billion) and Anil Ambani ($45 billion) and DLF chairman K.P. Singh ($35 billion),
together are worth more than the top 40 of Chinese billionaires.
Collectively, Indian billionaires were worth more than $351 billion, more than double the $170 billion last year, thanks largely to the surge in the value of the stocks they own.
The rich list of India contains 40 US dollar billionaires, who include names such as Vijay Mallya of the UB group, Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon, Wipro’s Azim Premji,
Kumar Mangalam Birla and wind power baron Tulsi Tanti of Suzlon.
The net worths fall when shares do. The bulk of the new billionaires are from the real estate and infrastructure sectors which are riding high on the back of stock market listing of companies feeding a hunger for homes and offices and sitting on large tracts of urban land bought many years ago.