Mukesh Ambani top Indian in Hurun Global Rich List 2020

Rajesh Ravi

The number of billionaires in the world has risen by 347 in a year to 2,817 despite a slowdown in the global economy, according to the Hurun Global Rich List 2020 released by the China-based company on Wednesday. This is the ninth year of the ranking and has 2,817 billionaires from 71 countries and 2,183 companies.

Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said: "A boom in tech valuations and strong stock markets across the US, India and China propelled the billionaires to record heights. The US had a record number of 626 'known' billionaires. China, despite the trade war, added 182 new faces to 799 billionaires, widening the gap with the US."

India rose to the third position in the list with 138 billionaires, followed by Germany and UK, with more than 100 billionaires living in each country. Russia is in the sixth place. Jeff Bezos, 56, of Amazon retains the top spot in the list with $140 bn, down $7 bn, mainly due to the world's largest divorce settlement with former wife MacKenzie Bezos. Bernard Arnault, 70, continued his meteoric rise-up two spots to second place-with $107 bn, up $21 bn on last year. Bill Gates dropped down to third place on the list with $106 bn despite growing his wealth by $10 bn or 10%.

Mukesh Ambani, 62, of Reliance Industries maintained a top 10 place for the second time after a $13-billion, or 24%, surge in his wealth to $67 bn. The only Asian in the top 10, Ambani's wealth increased mainly on the back of a good performance in his telecoms business. The report has India on the third spot with 138 billionaires by adding 34 new billionaires on one year. The number rises to 170 if the origin of the billionaires is taken into account.

Hurun Report India MD and chief researcher Anas Rahman Junaid said: "Indian billionaires are defying gravity. The structural slowdown in the economy does not seem to hamper the growth of Indians in the Hurun Global Rich List. The missing pieces in the puzzle are automobile and the real estate sector and we expect exponential wealth creation in those sectors in the coming years. If the economy were to grow apace to meet the $5-trillion target, the total wealth creation would at least double the current value."
With a wealth of Rs 25,000 crore.

Jay Chaudhry of Zscaler is the richest new entrant, followed by Vivek Chaand Sehgal of Motherson Sumi Systems with a net worth of Rs 15,200 crore. Cosmetic queen Kylie Jenner is the youngest self-made billionaire with $ 1.1 bn and Adam Neuman of WeWork is the biggest
loser with wealth down 80% to $1.3 bn.

In the latest report, 1,811 saw their wealth increase, of which 480 were new faces. 604 saw their wealth decrease, and there were 130 drop-offs, of which 16 died. 369 saw their wealth stay the same. The average age of the list is 64.