Indian Billionaire Mukesh Ambani Becomes Asia’s Richest Person Again Amid Putin’s War
Shares of the conglomerate Reliance Industries, which counts energy as its major revenue-generating engine, increased by more than 3% Monday after rising oil prices increased the value of stocks of energy in India as one of the top oil producers in the world. The rise was particularly favorable to Reliance chair Mukesh Ambani which added around $2.8 billion wealth and allowing the 64-year-old to surpass infrastructure billionaire Gautam Adani to reclaim the titlel of the title of being the wealthiest person in India, and Asia.
On Monday evening, Ambani is the world’s tenth richest person, worth about $89.7 billion according to according to Forbes estimates and Adani is worth about $87.8 billion-and ranked the 11th richest person in the world.
In addition to the positive news in the favor of Reliance, Reuters on Sunday revealed that the company is set to acquire at around 200 stores from struggling grocery chain Future Retail to expand its presence as the country’s largest retailer. The major win follows two years of legal battle against Future Investor Amazon over Reliance’s $3.4 billion acquisition of substantial portions of Future’s largely unprofitable business. In the last quarter of 2020, the e-commerce monolith has argued the deal violates legal terms governing its investments–even though Future is betting on the cash to pay back a defaulted loan.
“The ongoing litigation initiated by Amazon in October 2020… has created serious impediments” which have had an “severe adverse impact” on the company, CP Toshniwal, the chief financial officer of Future, told the stock exchange of India in a letter on Saturday, saying it was “hopeful” the $3.4 billion agreement with Reliance will finally be signed before the offer expires in September. As per Reuters, Reliance will rebrand its Future stores, which will still have about 1,500 locations, under its flagship store chain Big Bazaar. Shares of Future Retail jumped 6% Monday.
Founded by Ambani’s late father Dhirubhai Ambani in 1966 , as a small manufacturer of textiles, Reliance has since grown into India’s largest company–boasting earnings that was $73.8 billion (539,238 crore Indian rupees) in the year 2000, thanks to its interests in petrochemicals, telecom, oil and retail. Ambani was the sole owner of the family business following his father’s death in 2002. He and his family still own a roughly 49% stake in the firm.
Despite the huge boost in Ambani’s fortunes however, one billionaire was able to increase his wealth on Monday. Tesla President Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, added $14.4 billion of his fortune Monday when shares of the electric-car company soared 7.5 percent. After a sharp 40% plunge in Tesla shares earlier this year Bernstein analyst Toni Caconaghi’s comments triggered the surge on Monday by telling investors that Tesla’s “unique growth profile” stood out among high-priced technology stocks. Musk is currently valued at $236.8 billion–nearly $60 billion more than the world’s second-richest human being, Bernard Arnault.