Indian industrial magnates Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani have forgotten about China’s Jack Ma’s ranking in the world wealth ranking as the fortunes of the top billionaires in two of Asia’s largest economies diverge.
The wealth of Ambani, president of the Reliance Industries conglomerate, and infrastructure magnate Adani they jumped to $ 84 billion and $ 78 billion, respectively, according to Bloomberg data, making them the richest entrepreneurs in Asia.
This reflects the growing power of India’s largest corporate groups such as the Covid-19 pandemic squeeze smaller competitors and leaves investors with few options to bet on the country’s economic recovery, analysts said.
Both Ambani and Adani received a boost from stock events in companies controlling even as a second wave of Covid-19s swept across the country. The Nifty 50 index, which tracks India’s 50 largest companies, rose about 10 percent from its low in April as investors anticipate a recovery in internal demand.
Ambani is the 12th richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg, a position behind former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Saurabh Mukherjea, founder of Marcellus Investment Managers, said the couple’s rise has shown how profits among Indian companies were growing more and more in a handful of dominant industries, known as “promoters”.
“Promoters in all sectors whose scope was up to the regional level are able to spread their wings nationally,” he said. “A mix of private equity, venture capital and stock market is funded by this, and you have an immense polarization of wealth.”
Chinese tycoons have dominated for years the upper levels of the Asian wealth classification thanks to the vertical growth of technology groups such as Alibaba and Tencent.
Ma Zhong Shanshan, founder of Nongfu Spring bottled water enterprises, ranked first in China and third in the region with a net worth of about $ 71 billion. Tencent founder Pony Ma was fourth in Asia at $ 61 billion, while Alibaba founder Jack Ma went fifth, with less than $ 50 billion.
Some of the most renowned names in Chinese technology have been hit by a regulatory cut. Jack Ma has appeared barely in public since Beijing launched the initial $ 37 billion public offering of its fintech Ant Group business in November.
Ambani’s wealth has increased by about 9 percent in 2021 thanks mainly to his participation in Reliance, India’s largest oil refiner, which has benefited from a global rally in commodity prices.
Reliance’s telecommunications and retail companies last year has raised billions of dollars from global investors including Facebook, Silver Lake and the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Meanwhile, Adani’s wealth soared to 130 percent this year as the value of its stake in the Adani Group’s listed companies increased, adding about $ 44 billion to its net worth.
Adani’s “net worth is driven by rising stock prices,” said Hemindra Hazari, a bank researcher in Mumbai.
Hazari added that many Adani Group stocks appeared to have a small free float, which could make stock prices more volatile.
Adani Gas, Adani Enterprises and Adani Transmission will be added to the MSCI India index next May, joining Adani Green Energy and the leading activities of the Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone group. Analysts expect inclusion to drive further passive investment flows in companies.
Ambani’s Reliance Industries and the Adani Group did not immediately respond to requests for comment.