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India makes more tycoons than China

HERE IS something to brag about: India has more billionaires than China and has the largest wealth concentration in Asia. The Forbes billionaires' list this year has 23 Indians compared to China's eight. The magazine says the collective net worth of 40 richest Indians is $106 billion compared to their Chinese counterparts' $26 billion. "India has bragging rights over China, at least when it comes to net worth of its wealthiest citizens," the magazine says.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2006 02:13 IST

HERE IS something to brag about: India has more billionaires than China and has the largest wealth concentration in Asia.

The Forbes billionaires' list this year has 23 Indians compared to China's eight. The magazine says the collective net worth of 40 richest Indians is $106 billion compared to their Chinese counterparts' $26 billion. "India has bragging rights over China, at least when it comes to net worth of its wealthiest citizens," the magazine says. "While the US still dominates this list, 2006 really belongs to some of the more emerging markets, and no country more than India," says Forbes associate editor Luisa Kroll.

The Indian flock is headed by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. With $23.5 billion to his name, Mittal is the world's fifth richest man. He, however, is down two notches compared to last year's listing. As usual Microsoft chief Bill Gates retains the top slot. With $50 billion to his name, Gates is the world's richest man for -- the 12th consecutive year. He is followed by another perennial figure, investor Warren Buffett ($42 billion).

The world now has 793 billionaires, up 15 per cent from last year and the US, with 371 billionaires, occupies nearly half of the roster.

Strong stock markets around the world, with the US remaining a notable exception, have contributed to this surge in wealth, Forbes said.

Wipro's Azim Premji is the second richest Indian, with a net worth of $13.3 billion. He is followed by Mukesh Ambani ($8.5 billion), Anil Ambani ($5.7 billion), real estate developer Kushal Pal Singh ($5 billion), Sunil Mittal ($4.9 billion), Kumarmangalam Birla ($4.4 billion) and Shiv Nadar ($4 billion). Globally, Premji has moved up 13 places since last year to 25th slot. Mukesh Ambani has been ranked 56th and Anil Ambani 104th.

Apart from Kushal Pal Singh, the notable Indian newcomers to the Forbes's big league include Tulsi Tanti ($1.4 billion), who owns Asia's largest windfarm, online gaming mogul Anurag Dikshit ($3.3 billion) and liquor baron Vijay Mallya ($1 billion).

First Published: Mar 11, 2006 02:13 IST