NEW YORK: The total wealth of billionaires living in India has dropped to $191.5 billion, even as the overall fortune of the group globally has grown to a record high of $6.4 trillion.
The ranks of the world’s billionaires continued to “scale new heights and stretch to new corners of the world”.
There were as many as 1,645 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $6.4 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion a year ago. This included a record 268 new 10-figure fortunes, and 42 new women billionaires.
According to Forbes, the U.S. led the world with 492 billionaires thanks to the tech boom and strong stock market, followed by China with 152 and Russia with 111 super rich people.
“But wealth is spreading to new places,” Forbes said, adding that the latest Forbes list saw inclusion of billionaires for the first time from Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania and Uganda.
Moreover, for the first time, an African, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria, made it to the top 25.
On the contrary, a weak economy and falling rupee took its toll on the wealth of Indian billionaires this year.
The country is home to 56 billionaires in all with a collective net worth of $191.5 billion which is a little lower than last year’s haul of 55 names worth $193.6 billion.
Some of the most striking billionaires who saw their fortunes erode in the past year include, Mukesh Ambani, Laxmi Mittal, Sashi and Ravi Ruia among others.
In 2008, Ambani was the world’s fifth richest person with a net worth of $43 billion and has seen a steep decline in his wealth since. This year, Ambani’s wealth is down by $2.9 billion though he hangs on to his perch as India’s richest person with $18.6 billion net worth.
Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has also been witnessing a steep fall over the last 10 years. In the latest Forbes list Mittal is ranked in the 52nd position, while in the year 2005, he enjoyed a rank as high as 3rd on the global rich list.
Moreover Shashi & Ravi Ruia also saw their fortune erode and this year the brothers are the biggest dollar losers, down by $3.6 billion as shares of their London-listed Essar Energy tumbled.