Mukesh Ambani Replaces Jack Ma as the Richest Man in Asia
Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has replaced founder and chairman of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, as the richest man in Asia. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index results on Friday, Ambani’s estimated worth reached USD 44.3 billion when RIL rose by 1.6%. In comparison, Ma’s worth came to USD 44 billion.
By doubling its petrochemicals capacity and disrupting the Indian telecom market with Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, Ambani has seen an addition of USD 4 billion to his fortune. Ambani has also announced plans to grow the Reliance e-commerce sector through its 215 million telecom subscribers, which will put Reliance in competition with e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart.
There are also plans in August to launch a fiber-based broadband service of Jio in 1,100 cities across India. Ambani has predicted it to be the biggest greenfield fixed-line rollout anywhere in the world.
“Jio is the driver behind the surge in Reliance,” Deven Choksey, managing director at Mumbai-based KR Choksey Shares and Securities Pvt. Ltd. told Bloomberg. “If the company is going to double in profit a few years down the line, the stock price will also double, if not more.”
RIL has also re-entered the hundred-billion-dollar club after a decade in October 2007. RIL’s market valuation surpassed the INR 7 lakh crore mark, a milestone achieved only by one more company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in May this year. Currently, with a market cap of INR 7,60,355.03 crore, TCS is India’s most valued firm. TCS is followed by RIL, HDFC Bank, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), and ITC.
Ambani and his family have 43% control of RIL. Apart from this stake, Ambani’s property comprises dividends, a salary and fees as a director, valuable private investments, and even a gas pipeline.
To understand the relative value of Ambani’s wealth, Bloomberg has provided a comparison index. With a net worth of USD 41.7 billion, Ambani can buy 560 million barrels of crude oil. His worth is equivalent to 0.215% of the US GDP and 0.785% of the total wealth of the top 500 richest people in the world.
On the other hand, Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group is China’s biggest e-commerce company. With Taobao, an online shopping site, and Tmall, a facilitator of online stores, Alibaba reached a revenue earning of USD 37.8 billion in 2018. Ma, who also enjoys a stake in online payment service Alipay, is the owner of 5.6% of Alibaba, with direct shares through holding companies. 8.8% of Ant Financial also belongs to Ma, which adds up to USD 150 billion.