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Gautam Adani Becomes Second Richest Man in Asia; Surpasses China's Zong Shanshan

File photo of Gautam Adani. (Reuters)

File photo of Gautam Adani. (Reuters)

Adani now trails behind only his Indian competitor and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani.

Indian businessman Gautam Adani has surpassed Chinese billionaire Zong Shanshan to become Asia’s second richest individual, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. According to the index, the Adani Group’s net worth is $66.5 billion, while Zhong Shanshan’s is $63.6 billion. In terms of the most wealth owned by a person in Asia, Adani now trails behind only his Indian competitor and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani.

Ambani surpassed Shanshan to become Asia’s richest individual in February of this year. The chairman of RIL also ranks first among India’s wealthiest people.

Shanshan, the founder and chairman of Nongfu Spring and the majority owner of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, was once the world’s sixth richest man. However, in recent months his net worth has plummeted.

Currently, Ambani and Adani are placed on the 13th and 14th position, respectively, in the global billionaires’ list of Bloomberg. While Adani’s net worth has climbed by $32.7 billion in the past year, Ambani’s wealth has marginally decreased by $175.5 million, as per the index. The net worth of Ambani stood at $76.5 billion.

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After starting out as a commodities trader in the late 1980s, Gautam Adani has over two decades built an empire that now spans from mines, ports and power plants to airports, data centre, city gas and defence. Adani Group became third group in Inida to cross $100 billion in market capitalization in April.

In the last two years, his group has gained control of seven airports and almost a quarter of India’s air traffic, made rapid strides in renewable energy capacity addition, won a contract to co-develop a port terminal in Sri Lanka and bought ports in India.

Adani Ports controls 30 per cent of the nation’s port industry and has French energy giant Total as a partner in its renewable energy and city gas distribution business, according to report. Adani Green is targeting 25 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2025.

Adani Green Energy Limited on Wednesday said it has acquired 5 GW of renewable power portfolio from SB Energy India for a fully-completed enterprise evaluation (EV) of $3.5 billion, according to the regulatory statement. SB Energy India is a joint venture between Japan-based SoftBank Group Corp and Bharti Group, who held 80 per cent and 20 per cent stake, respectively.

The transaction marks the largest acquisition in the renewable energy sector in India, according to Adani Green Energy Limited.

“The target portfolio consists large scale utility assets with 84% solar capacity (4,180 MW), 9% wind-solar hybrid capacity (450 MW) and 7% wind capacity (324 MW)," the regulatory filing said.The portfolio comprises of 1,400 MW operational solar power capacity and a further 3,554 MW is under construction. All projects have 25 year PPAs with sovereign rated counterparties such as Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. (SECI), NTPC Limited and NHPC Limited," it further added.

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first published:May 21, 2021, 08:00 IST