India Mints Three Billionaires A Month: Hurun Rich List 2020
India minted three billionaires every month as the nation’s stock markets surged to records despite a slowing economy.
Asia’s third-largest economy added 34 new billionaires last year, jumping two spots to rank third with 138 ultra-rich persons after the China and U.S., according to Hurun Global Rich List 2020. The number rises to 170 if Indian-origin billionaires are tallied in. That compares with 799 and 626 billionaires in China and the U.S., respectively — the top two spots that together make half of the billionaires in the world.
Wealth of billionaire industrialists in India rose on the back of investments in select large caps even as the economy is expected to expand at its slowest pace in more than a decade in the year ending March.
“Indian billionaires are defying gravity as the structural slowdown in the economy doesn’t seem to hamper the growth of Indians in the list,” said Anas Rahman Junaid, managing director and chief researcher, Hurun Report India. “The missing pieces in the puzzle are automobile and the real estate sector and we expect exponential wealth creation in those sectors in the coming years. If the economy were to grow apace to meet the $5-trillion target, the total wealth creation would at least double the current value,” he said in a media statement.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd., continues to be the richest Asian and the only Asian in global top 10 with a net worth of $67 billion, according to the Hurun rich list. “Ambani’s wealth increased mainly on the back of a good performance in his telecoms business,” it said.
Other Rising Billionaires From India
- Gautam Adani, chairman and founder of Adani Group, saw his wealth “rocket up” up by $7.1 billion to $17 billion, after the demerger of his renewable generation and city gas distribution businesses.
- Sunil Mittal, chairman Bharti Airtel Ltd., saw his wealth rise to $3.5 billion, up $1 billion, propelled by speculations of the Indian telecom market becoming a duopoly, led by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. and Bharti Airtel.
- Wealth of Radhakishan Damani, founder of D-Mart supermarket chain operator, jumped 80 percent to $10.6 billion after standalone profit of his flagship company Avenue Supermarts Ltd. rose in third quarter of the ongoing financial year.
- Uday Kotak, chairman at Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., entered the top 100 list with $15 billion. The bank’s share price hit an all-time high after the Reserve Bank of India cleared plans for dilution of promoters’ shareholding.
- With 50 individuals from the Hurun India Global Rich List 2020, Mumbai is the capital for India’s super-rich, followed by New Delhi (30) and Bengaluru (17).
- The highest number of billionaires worked in pharmaceuticals, technology, media and telecom sectors at 22 each.
The number of billionaires in the world rose to a record 2,817 in 2019 from 2,470 in the previous year.
China added 182 new faces, more than three times of the U.S., despite the simmering trade tensions with the world’s largest economy, the report said. The novel coronavirus outbreak has resulted in “mini booms” for Chinese drugmakers involved in vaccines, online education and online games, while causing share prices of hospitality and travel to drop, it said.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos remained the world’s richest man for the third year running, with a net worth of $140 billion. But that’s a decline of $7 billion from last year. Walmart Inc.’s Alice Walton is the world’s richest woman with a net worth of $59 billion. Women made up 15.7 percent of the Hurun rich list, up slightly on last year’s 15.5 percent.
“It has been a good year for the stock markets generally. Nasdaq led the way with a 26 percent increase, while India and China’s stock markets rose 15 percent and 14 percent,” Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher, Hurun Report, said in the statement.