King of steel Lakshmi N Mittal reigns as the richest Indian for the fourth year in a row with a wealth of $51 billion, although his crown is under threat from Mukesh Ambani whose net worth soared to $49 billion, according to Forbes’ India’s 40 Richest list for 2007.
But Mukesh’s position too is under threat from his younger brother Anil Ambani, who is closing on his heels with a wealth of $45 billion at the third spot, US-based Forbes magazine said.
“The four richest Indians are worth an astonishing USD 180 billion,” Forbes said, attributing the surge in wealth to a booming stock market.
The net worth of Mukesh Ambani has jumped from $30.5 billion to $49 billion, making him the year’s biggest gainer. Anil’s net worth increased to $45 billion from $30.2 billion.
The fourth richest Indian Kushal Pal Singh has a net worth of $35 billion and after the listing of his flagship DLF, he is now the world’s richest real estate developer, Forbes said.
“… thanks to the roaring Mumbai stock market, with the benchmark index gaining as much as 53 per cent in the past year and a strong rupee that appreciated 12 per cent, for the first time, all India rich-listers are billionaires,” the magazine said in a report.
The minimum wealth required to make it to the rich-list was $1.6 billion against $790 million last year.
“In aggregate, their wealth surged to $351 billion, a bit more than double of last year’s $170 billion, making India’s 40 by far the wealthiest such group in all of Asia,” the magazine added.
Forbes said 29 of the people who returned to the list were richer than last year, with the exception of Rahul Bajaj whose fortune was flat at $2.3 billion.
Newcomers to the list include “Gautam Adani, who built Mundra Port, Anand Jain, Mukesh Ambani’s school buddy and Gautum Thapar, whose Ballarpur Industries is India’s largest paper maker.”