Mukesh becomes world's richest

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi/Mumbai, October 29: | Updated: Oct 30 2007, 01:18am hrs
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani on Monday became the richest person in the world, surpassing American software czar Bill Gates, Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim Helu and famous investment guru Warren Buffett, courtesy the bull run in the stock market.

Following a strong share price rally today in his three group companies -- India's most valued firm Reliance Industries, Reliance Petroleum and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Ltd -- the net worth of Mukesh Ambani rose to 63.2 billion dollars (Rs 2,49,108 crore).

In comparison, the net worth of both Gates and Slim is estimated to be slightly lower at around 62.29 billion dollars each, with Slim leading among the two by a narrow margin.

Warren Buffett, earlier the third richest in the world, also dropped one position with a net worth of about 56 billion dollars.

Ambani's wealth of about Rs 2,49,000 crore includes about Rs 2,10,000 crore from RIL (50.98 per cent stake), Rs 37,500 crore from RPL (37.5 per cent) and Rs 2,100 crore from RIIL (46.23 per cent).

Slim's wealth has been calculated on the basis of his stake in companies like America Movil (30 per cent), Carso Global (82 per cent), Grupo Carso (75 per cent), Inbursa (67 per cent), IDEAL (30 per cent) and Saks Inc (10 per cent).

According to information available with the US and Mexican stock exchanges where these companies are listed, Slim currently holds shares worth a total of USD 62.2993 billion, with more than half coming from Latin American mobile major America Movil. Slim is closely followed by Gates with a net worth of 62.29 billion dollars currently.

SENSEX TOUCHES 20

The benchmark Sensex zoomed past the 20,000-point level during trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange, taking 10 sessions to cover the last 1,000 points, on funds buying in heavy-weight stocks led by Reliance Industries.

The 30-share index spurted in the last five minutes of trade to fly-past the crucial level and scaled a new intra-day peak at 20,024.87 points before ending at its fresh closing high of 19,977.67, a gain of 734.50 points.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange's Nifty rose to a record high 5,922.50 points before ending at 5,905.90, showing a hefty gain of 203.60 points.

The rally was led by capital good stocks and market major and trend-setter Reliance Industries, which surged to a record Rs 2,844 on funds buying, influenced by a similar trend in other Asian stock markets.

Capital goods index shot up by 1,360.51 points at 19,847.66, followed by oil and gas index by 556.19 points at 11,659.65. Metal index was the third best performer, gaining 445.18 points to 17,189.74, while the bank index rose 376.18 points to 10,649.71.

Sensex had crossed 19,000 mark on October 15. It had crossed 10,000 mark on February 6, 2006 and 15,000 mark on July 6, 2007.

With today's landmark Sensex has joined the 20,000 club whose other members are Hong Kong's Hang Seng, Brazil's Bovespa, Mexico's Bolsa among others.

Hang Seng recently crossed 30,000 mark and today closed at 31,560 points, while Bovespa closed at 64,275 on October 26. Mexico's Bolsa index closed at 32,136 last Friday.

SIGNALS FROM STOCK MKTS, POSITIVE

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said signals from stock markets and foreign investment flows are positive and the government will work toward maintaining an encouraging atmosphere for investors.

"Be it FDI flows, investments in stock markets, investments in our knowledge economy, the signals are all positive. We will work to keep these positive," he said at the

Fortune Global Forum meeting in New Delhi.

Singh's statement comes on a day when the country's stock markets touched a new record, with the benchmark Sensex surging past the 20,000-mark for the first time.