Mukesh Ambani leads billionaire gains on Narendra Modi’s lead
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Singapore: Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, was the biggest gainer among the world’s billionaires as exit polls signalled Narendra Modi’s opposition bloc would win a majority in the country’s election.
The chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), operator of the world’s biggest oil refinery complex, added almost $800 million to his wealth on Tuesday. Ambani has a net worth of $25.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gautam Adani was the second-biggest gainer worldwide as he added almost $700 million, giving him a net worth of $6.9 billion.
Indian stocks rose to a record on Tuesday as investors bet Modi will revive an economy growing at almost the weakest pace in a decade. The combined wealth of the country’s nine richest people rose $2.8 billion, accounting for almost half of the $5.9 billion gain among the world’s 200 richest people, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“The main driver is that Modi will get the numbers,” said Christopher Wong, a Singapore-based money manager at Aberdeen Asset Management Plc, which oversees more than $300 billion worldwide. “There is hope that after four years of not much investment, a stable government will be able to facilitate more investments.”
Ambani has added $5.3 billion to his fortune since 13 September, when Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, was named prime ministerial candidate, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Adani’s wealth has more than tripled from $1.9 billion on 13 September.
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies will win 249 to 340 seats, according to six exit polls released this week, with 272 needed for a majority. The Congress party and its allies, in power for the past decade, are projected to win 70 to 148 seats. Results will be announced in two days.
Modi improved access to electricity, built more roads and eased investment approvals after taking power in Gujarat in 2001, providing a platform for growth for companies in the state such as Adani Enterprises Ltd (ADE), which billionaire Adani controls. Ambani’s Reliance operates two refineries at Jamnagar in the western state of Gujarat. Bloomberg