Gautam Adani is world's 2nd fastest growing billionaire in 2021

Issac John /Dubai Filed on May 24, 2021
Gautam Adani. — Reuters file photo

Adani Group has been buying out ports and troubled utility companies with good assets over the past few years.

India’s industrial tycoon Gautam Adani, the world’s second fastest-growing billionaire in 2021, rose to the 14th spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, replacing China's Zhong Shanshan to become the second richest Asian in the world.

With a net worth of $66.5 billion, Adani, who began his career as a commodity trader, is getting closer to Asia’s richest, compatriot Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, whose net worth is $76.5 billion while Shanshan is worth $63.6 billion.

In 2021 so far, Adani boosted his fortune by $35.2 billion compared with a $24.5 billion addition in the combined wealth of 19 other Indian billionaires. In contrast, Ambani, the richest Indian and Asian, has added only $334 million to his wealth this year.

The $35.2 billion that Adani made in 2021 was second only to French luxury Tycoon Bernard Arnaut, who has added $47.9 billion to his personal wealth this year, Bloomberg Billionaire Index showed.

Along with Adani, eight other Indian billionaires have added $1 billion or more to their personal wealth in 2021. They are Wipro's Azim Premji, whose wealth increased by $6.07 billion to $31.40 billion. Savitri Jindal of OP Jindal group added $4 billion to her wealth, while Lakshmi Mittal added $3.93 billion. Kumar Birla's wealth jumped by $3.25 billion to $10.1 billion. Others included Dilip Shanghvi of Sun Pharma ($1.66 billion), Radhakishan Damani of DMart ($1.6 billion), Pankaj Patel of Cadila ($1.44 billion) and Rahul Bajaj of Bajaj Auto ($1.18 billion). Uday Kotak is the only Indian billionaire to have lost $1 billion or more.

Adani’s businesses span across sectors, including energy, ports, airports, logistics, agriculture, real estate, financial services, FMCG, gas distribution and defence, among others,

The reason for the skyrocketing surge in Adani fortune is that four of six listed group stocks have rallied between 100 per cent and 260 per cent in 2021 so far, pushing them to the overvalued zone.

Adani Group has been buying out ports and troubled utility companies with good assets over the past few years. Analysts said the group has in the past managed to turn around its inorganic bets. It is believed that as and when the economy recovers, such assets will start adding to earnings in a big way.

Adani Group has also made serious headway into the airport management business. The conglomerate took over the Mumbai International Airport from the GVK group in September last year. It also acquired a controlling stake in the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport.

Adani has also won 50-year operating rights from Airports Authority of India for airports in Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangaluru, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati.


Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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