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Gautam Adani Again Gain The Title of “Asia’s Richest Person” -Net Worth is $97 Billion

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani has reclaimed the title of Asia’s richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His net worth rose by $7.7 billion in a single day to reach $97.6 billion, narrowly surpassing rival Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd, who has a net worth of $97 billion.

Adani’s return to the top spot comes just days after the Supreme Court of India refused calls for probes by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into allegations of fraud and stock manipulation made against Adani Group companies by US-based short seller Hindenburg Research. The court instead ordered India’s market regulator to complete its investigation into Adani’s 2019 acquisition of ACC Ltd within three months.

Over the past year, Adani Group has been rocked by the Hindenburg report, which accused it of “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud” over decades. At one point, the conglomerate had lost over $150 billion in market capitalization as investors fled its shares. Adani spent months shoring up confidence among investors, creditors and regulators.

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling dismissing the need for an SIT probe marked a turning point, signalling an end to the year-long saga sparked by Hindenburg. It prompted a relief rally in Adani Group stocks that boosted the tycoon’s net worth.

Adani, 60, has pledged to invest $100 billion over the next decade in renewable energy and the green transformation of his fossil fuel-focused ports-to-power conglomerate. His aggressive expansion beyond coal mining and trading into airports, data centres, cement, media and more has rapidly grown his empire and personal wealth in recent years.

For comparison, Ambani, 65, has focused more narrowly on oil and gas, telecoms and retail as he also shifts his conglomerate Reliance Industries towards clean energy and green technology.

The two Indian billionaires have traded places multiple times in recent years as Asia’s wealthiest person. Here is a quick table summarizing their respective net worths over time…

Date | Adani Net Worth | Ambani Net Worth Jan 2024 | $97.6 billion | $97 billion
Sep 2022 | $134 billion | $92 billion Apr 2022 | $109 billion | $101 billion Oct 2021 | $50 billion | $90 billion

This week’s flow has returned Adani comfortably to the top spot for now. However the lead over Ambani is still low, and the position could easily change again based on the stock prices of their respective businesses. For both tycoons, their net worth will still be heavily bound to the performance of Indian financial markets and the global economy in 2024.

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