Mukesh Ambani snatches Asia’s richest man title back from Jack Ma with a little help from Mark Zuckerberg

  • Ambani added $4.6 billion to his wealth on April 22, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
  • The shares of the company which suffered a massive loss on April 21 registered an 11.8% gain in a single day.
  • All credit goes to Facebook which invested $5.7 billion into Reliance Jio.
  • While crude oil price volatility adds more worries to Ambani’s oil business, his telecom and retail businesses are expected to boom post-lockdown.

Nothing can keep Mukesh Ambani down, not for long anyway. After his company Reliance Industries’ stock crashed during Indian stock market meltdown, he lost the tag of Asia’s richest man to Jack Ma of Alibaba.

In fact, he even lost his Bloomberg global ranking as the 18th richest person to MacKenzie Bezos, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, after coronavirus added woes along with crude oil price crash.

But one of his most promising businesses - Jio - has had a white knight in the form of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook which invested in it. Zuckerberg himself, the fifth richest man in the world, sealed a $5.7 billion deal to buy 9.9% stake in Jio, offering it top-notch valuation.

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Ambanis gets his title back from Jack Ma


Investors who were starved of good news were thrilled. As a result of his stock surge, Ambani added $4.6 billion to his wealth in a day, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. He is now worth $49.5 billion, which makes him richer than Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma whose net worth is $46 billion.

Ambani lost Asia’s richest tag on March 10 when RIL recorded its highest fall at 13% since October 2008, due to a coronavirus crash. That day, Ambani lost $5.8 billion of his personal wealth. And, yesterday he made up for most of it.
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Facebook pays premium for Reliance Jio

In the first few minutes of trading, RIL stock gained as much as ₹50,000 crore ($6.5 billion) .Over the entire trading session, the stock gained 11.8%. This was the first time since lockdown that RIL’s share price was trading above ₹1300 apiece. All credit goes to Facebook which also got a board seat in Reliance Industries.

Facebook which paid a premium value only to the telecom business of the oil to retail conglomerate valued at ₹4,40,141 crore ($57.7 billion). The three-year-old telecom company is now bigger than HDFC, Infosys, ITC and India’s largest bank.
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This is the silver lining of the year which has been cloudy for Ambani. Ambani’s net worth crashed by 41% to stand at $34.4 billion on 19 March, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. But it also recovered slowly to reach $45 billion as of April 20, as per the index. Ambani was worth $58.6 billion when the year started.

While crude oil price volatility adds more worries to Ambani’s oil business, his telecom and retail business are expected to boom post-lockdown. The Facebook-Jio deal is expected to pull in Kirana stores and combine it with Whatsapp Pay — giving a massive competition to Amazon and all other e-commerce players.


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See also: Jio, a 3-year old telecom company, is now bigger than HDFC, Infosys and ITC – and India's largest bank
Facebook’s investment in Reliance Jio boosts RIL share value by ₹50,000 crore
WhatsApp is the secret sauce in the deal between Facebook and Reliance Jio
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