Now, Asia’s top two richest people are Indians.
Gautam Adani has become the second richest person in Asia after knocking out China’s waterman Zhong Shanshan. According to Bloomberg Billionaire Index, the Adani group chairman’s net worth has shot up to $66.5 billion higher than Mr. Shanshan’s net worth of $63.6 billion.
Earlier in February, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani had replaced the Chinese billionaire as the richest person in Asia. Now Gautam Adani has also put him behind thanks to a strong spike in the stock prices of his group companies. In this year alone, Mr. Adani’s net worth has risen by $32.7 billion from $33.8 billion to $66.5 billion.
The Adani empire
Shares of Adani’s group companies such as Adani Green, Adani Enterprises, Adani Gas and Adani Transmission have seen massive rally over the one-year period, leading to this jump in his wealth. Adani Total Gas has surged 1145 percent in the last one year, while Adani Enterprises and Adani Transmission shares have advanced 827 percent and 617 percent, respectively. Adani Green Energy and Adani Power have gained 433 percent and 189 percent, respectively, during this period, while Adani Power has advanced 142 percent.
Gautam Adani’s business interest spreads across sectors such as ports, airports, energy, resources, logistics, agribusiness, real estate, financial services, gas distribution and defense. Recently, his company Adani Green Energy announced that it will acquire Japanese company Softbank’s Indian renewable energy business SB Energy’s 5 GW renewable power portfolio for an enterprise valuation of $3.5 billion.
The transaction is the largest acquisition in the renewable energy space in India, as per the company statement. Over the last two years, the Adani group has been on a dealmaking spree in a bid to increase its dominance in India’s infrastructure sector.
In comparison, China’s bottled water king Zhong Shanshan has lost $14.6 billion from his wealth in this year so far. He had grabbed Asia’s richest title from Mukesh Ambani at the end of December 2020 and by early 2021 he was the sixth-wealthiest person on Earth, surpassing Warren Buffett.
Zhong’s Nongfu company “Spring” more than tripled from its initial public offering to a peak in January as investors flocked to consumer shares, while his vaccine company, Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, surged as much as 3,757 percent.