Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd. is now worth $68.3 billion, surpassing Buffett’s $67.9 billion as of Thursday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Mukesh Ambani, the wealthiest Indian, has had a rollercoaster 2020, signing a string of deals for his digital business, undergoing wild swings in his wealth, and having his brother’s finances exposed for the world to see. Now he can add another chapter — overtaking the fortune of Warren Buffett.
Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd. is now worth $68.3 billion, surpassing Buffett’s $67.9 billion as of Thursday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Since a low in March, the shares of Ambani’s Indian conglomerate RIL have more than doubled as its digital unit got more than $15 billion in investments from companies including Facebook Inc. and Silver Lake. This week, for a stake in Reliance’s fuel-retail business, BP Plc paid $1 billion.
While Ambani’s wealth saw a huge surge helping him to become the only Asian tycoon in the exclusive club of the world’s top 10 richest people last month, Buffett’s fortune dropped this week after he gave away $2.9 billion to charity.
After donating more than $37 billion of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stock since 2006, 89-year-old Buffett, known as the Oracle of Omaha, has slipped down the rankings of the world’s wealthiest people.
In June this year, Reliance Industries Ltd. Chairman’s net worth jumped to $64.5 billion, making Ambani the only Asian businessman in the top 10 wealthiest people in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Overtaking Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. and France’s Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the wealthiest woman, Ambani became the 9th richest person in the world.
Mr. Ambani, who owns 42% of Reliance, has profited from a series of new investments into the company’s digital unit, Jio Platforms Ltd. Reliance also claimed that these developments have made it net-debt free ahead of a March 2021 target. While other billionaires on the list have been hit by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the shares of Reliance have doubled from a low in March.
Following Ambani’s statement on Friday that the company had become net debt-free ahead of its March 2021 deadline, RIL’s shares hit a new all-time high of Rs 1,788.60 on the BSE on Friday before ending at Rs 1,759.50.
Reliance had a net debt of Rs 1.61 trillion, as of March 2020. The company successfully managed to turn in the investments of Rs 1.68 trillion via a 24.7 percent stake sale in Jio Platforms and the rights issue to announce itself net-debt free.