NEW YORK: India is home to the world's fourth highest number of billionaires, with Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani leading the club of more than 100 super rich Indians, according to a new list released by Forbes magazine.
The Forbes list of the 'World's Billionaires 2017' consists of 2,043 of the richest people in the world who have a combined net worth of USD 7.67 trillion, a record 18-per cent increase over the past year. The list has been topped by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for the fourth year in a row. He has been the richest person in the world for 18 out of the past 23 years.
Gates has a fortune of USD 86 billion, up from USD 75 billion last year, followed by Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffet with a new worth of USD 75.6 billion. Amazon's Jeff Bezos added USD 27.6 billion to his fortune, now becoming worth USD 72.8 billion, moving into the top three in the world for the first time from number five a year ago. US President Donald Trump is ranked 544th on the list with his net worth of USD 3.5 billion.
India is home to 101 billionaires, the first time it has has more than 100 super rich individuals. The US continues to have more billionaires than any other nation, with a record number of 565, up from 540 a year ago. China is catching up with 319, Germany has the third most with 114 and India has the fourth highest number of billionaires.
There are nearly 20 people of Indian-origin who have made fortunes in various nations across the world, with them led by UK-based Hinduja brothers ranked 64th with USD 15.4 billion net worth, Indian-born tycoon Pallonji Mistry, who controls the 152-year-old Mumbai-headquartered engineering giant Shapoorji Pallonji Group at the 77th spot with USD 14.3 billion net worth and petrochemicals major Indorama co-founder Sri Prakash Lohia at the 288th spot with USD 5.4 billion net worth. Mistry's younger son Cyrus is embroiled in a legal battle with the Tata Group after he was suddenly ousted as chairman of Tata Sons, a position he had held since 2012.
Mukesh Ambani, 59, leads the pack of Indian billionaires, coming in at the 33rd position with a net worth of USD 23.2 billion. Forbes said the "oil and gas tycoon" sparked a price war in India's hyper-competitive telecom market with the launch of 4G phone service Jio last September. His younger brother Anil is ranked 745th with a net worth of USD 2.7 billion. The younger Ambani sibling "orchestrated the merger of his Reliance Communication's telecom business with that of rival Aircel, controlled by Malaysian billionaire Ananda Krishnan. The combine, which awaits regulatory approvals, will be the country's fourth-largest mobile phone operator," Forbes said.