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MUMBAI : Billionaire Gautam Adani has edged past Chinese tycoon Zhong Shanshan to become the second-richest Asian, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, as the stock prices of his listed companies soared.

China’s Zhong was the richest Asian till February when he lost the crown to Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest person and chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd. However, while Ambani lost $175.5 million this year, Adani’s wealth surged by $32.7 billion to touch $66.5 billion, against Zhong’s $63.6 billion. Ambani’s total wealth now stands at $76.5 billion, making him the 13th richest in the world, followed by Adani at 14th.

For the past two years, Ambani had held the numero uno position in the ranking of Asia’s richest.

Pecking order
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Pecking order

Zhong is the richest man in China with a net worth of $63.6 billion, following the stock listings last year of Nongfu Spring mineral water and pharma company Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, which tapped into the demand for covid-19 test kits.

The breakneck speed of growth in Adani’s wealth has come on the back of the rise in the share prices of Adani Green, Adani Enterprises, Adani Gas and Adani Transmission. Adani Total Gas shares have jumped about 12-fold in the past year, while Adani Enterprises and Adani Transmission shares have surged more than eightfold and sixfold, respectively.

Adani Green Energy and Adani Power have gained fourfold and nearly tripled, respectively, during this period, while Adani Ports more than doubled.

Gautam Adani, who started as a commodity trader, today owns companies across ports, airports, energy, resources, logistics, agribusiness, real estate, financial services, gas distribution and defence, among others.

Adani Green Energy on Wednesday announced that it will acquire SoftBank’s Indian renewable energy business SB Energy’s 5 gigawatts renewable power portfolio for an enterprise valuation of $3.5 billion.

The transaction marks the largest acquisition in the renewable energy sector in India, the company said.

This acquisition is just one of numerous deals the group has made in the past two years, to increase its dominance in India’s infrastructure sector.

In March, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd acquired a 58.1% stake in Gangavaram Port Ltd from D.V.S. Raju and family for 3,604 crore, winning majority control of the private port at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

It had earlier acquired a 31.5% stake in the port from Warburg Pincus.

In September, the group made its most audacious bet yet, taking over control of the Mumbai international airport from the GVK group, besides getting a controlling stake in the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport. It has also won 50-year operating rights for the recently privatized airports at Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangaluru, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati.

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