Ambanis, KP rock, Gates no longer richest
India's Ambani brothers gained the most among the world's richest over the past year and Kushal Pal Singh, whose DLF Ltd debuted on the stock exchange last July, is now the planet's wealthiest real estate baron,
According to Forbes's 2008 rankings of the world's richest people, released on Thursday, India remained home to the most billionaires in Asia for the second straight year. All four Asians featuring in the top 10 are Indians.
Steel magnate Lakshmi N Mittal led the pack with a net worth of $45 billion that put him in the No 4 slot, up one rank from last year. The Ambani brothers, Mukesh and Anil, came fifth and sixth, while KP Singh moved an incredible 54 places to finish eighth.
Anil Ambani emerged the biggest gainer with his net worth more than doubling to $42 billion from a year ago. He is now only US$1 billion behind his estranged brother Mukesh, who added about $23 billion to his wealth.
India added 17 new billionaires since last year to bring its total on the list to 53 — in contrast with the 300 million-plus Indians who still live on less than a dollar a day.
The latest rankings, which saw Bill Gates slip from the top slot to No 3 and trail famed investor Warren Buffet and Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, also underscored how China's and India's rapid economic growth is altering the balance among the world's wealthiest men and women.
This year's rankings showed the rich are getting richer and younger. An average billionaire is worth $3.9 billion, $250 million more than last year, and there were 50 billionaires under the age of 40, most of them self-made.