Friday, March 09, 2007

India home to most billionaries in Asia

India did it again.
India became home to the most billionaires in Asia, pushing Japan back to the No. 2 spot, according to Forbes magazine's 2007 rankings of the world's richest people.
Lakshmi N. Mittal, the London-based steel magnate who spearheaded the takeover of European steel maker Arcelor SA, was the richest Asian -- and the world's fifth-wealthiest -- with a net worth estimated at $32 billion, the magazine said.
India added 14 new billionaires since last year to bring its total on the list to 36 with a combined wealth of $191 billion, Forbes said, contrasting sharply with the 400 million Indians who still live on less than a dollar a day.
Japan's 24 billionaires had an estimated combined net worth $64 billion, according to the list, while Hong Kong came in the third spot with 21 billionaires, and China was fourth with 20.

Only five Americans were in the top 20 that included three Indians.Ranked third and fourth richest in Asia were two Indian brothers, Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani, who split their father's business after months of feuding in 2005.Mukesh Ambani, whose Reliance
Industries is largely focused on petroleum and petrochemicals, was No. 14 with wealth totaling $20.1 billion. His brother Anil, whose diversified business interests include telecommunications, power generation and finance, ranked 18 with an estimated net worth of $18.2 billion.

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