Adani group overtakes Tatas in market cap. Gautam Adani now world’s 2nd richest

Indian industrialist Gautam Adani briefly became the world’s second-richest person on Forbes’ real-time billionaires tracker on Friday, weeks after becoming the first Asian to break into the top three.

The self-made billionaire’s net worth jumped $4 billion overnight to $154 billion, according to Forbes, putting him ahead of LVMH’s Bernard Arnault and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Tesla founder Elon Musk stood at the helm with a fortune of more than $270 billion.

Arnault, who at times held the top spot in May 2021, and Adani traded the number two position throughout the day as their companies’ share prices fluctuated.

AdaniAged 60, he made his fortune in ports and commodity trading and now operates India’s second-largest conglomerate with interests ranging from coal mining and edible oils to airports and media.

His growing net worth reflects a stratospheric rise in the market capitalization of his publicly traded companies, as investors back the aggressive expansion of Adani Group’s old and new businesses.

Shares of flagship company Adani Enterprises, of which the billionaire owns 75 percent, have soared more than 2,700 percent since March 2020 and doubled in value in the last six months.

Stock price surges in other group companies including Adani Transmission, Adani Power, Adani Ports and Adani Green Energy catapulted Adani past Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani this year.

Analyst estimates indicated that the market capitalization of Adani’s seven listed companies also briefly surpassed that of the Tata group on Friday morning, making the Adani Group India’s largest conglomerate.

Born in the city of Ahmedabad, in the western state of Gujarat, to a middle-class family, Adani dropped out of university to work in the diamond industry before starting his export business in 1988.

In 1995, it won a contract to build and operate a commercial seaport at Mundra in Gujarat, which has since grown to become the largest port in India.

At the same time, Adani expanded into thermal power generation and coal mining in India and abroad.

In recent years, the conglomerate has ventured into petrochemicals, cement, data centers and copper refining, as well as establishing a renewable energy business with ambitious goals.

Recent investments in the Indian media and a bid for 5G airwaves this year have sparked speculation that the billionaire’s empire could soon affect sectors dominated by Ambani’s Reliance Industries.

But Adani’s rapid expansion into capital-intensive businesses has also raised financial alarm bells, with Fitch Group’s CreditSights reiterating last week that they “remain concerned about Adani Group’s leverage.”

This story has been published from a news agency source with no changes to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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