The combined net worth of India’s 100 richest people doubled to $276 billion (Rs 1,289,000 crore), according to the latest Forbes’ India Rich List released on Thursday. That’s almost a quarter of the country’s GDP.
A rebounding stock market that gained 66 per cent in the past year and an economy growing at more than 6 per cent have boosted the net worth of India’s richest people.
Against 27 billionaires on the India Rich List last year, the number has almost doubled to 52 in 2009 --- two short of what the country had at the peak of the stock market boom in 2007.
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, with a personal wealth of $32 billion (Rs 150,000 crore), is India’s wealthiest man.
Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal with a net worth of $30 billion (Rs 140,000 crore) stands next, while Mukesh’s estranged brother Anil, with a net worth of $17.5 billion (Rs 82,000) ranked third in the list.
Mukesh’s net worth jumped 54 per cent since last year, while that of Mittal and Anil grew by 46 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.
The richest newcomers are two brothers from Torrent Power — Sudhir and Samir Mehta, ranked 23 at $2.02 billion (Rs 9,400 crore).
The net worth for this list was compiled using stock prices and exchange rates taken on October 16, while privately held fortunes were valued at book value or by coupling estimates of revenues, profits or book value to prevailing ratios for similar public companies.
Though the top 10 positions remained largely unchanged, there are some shifts in fortunes across the list. Sunil Mittal with $8.2 billion (Rs 38,000 crore) has moved down from Rank 4 to 8, while Azim Premji ($14.9 billion or Rs 69,500 crore) has moved up to Rank 4 from 7.
“This year’s list shows yet again that when conditions in the financial markets and the economy are right, India has the scale and resources to produce billionaires faster than most of the countries on earth,” said Naazneen Karmali, India Editor of Forbes Asia.