Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani and Uday Kotak got richer in a year of economic turmoil

  • Despite the economic slowdown, three Indian billionaires — Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani and Uday Kotak continue to add billions to their fortune.
  • Mukesh Ambani added $4.1 billion to his wealth, according to Forbes.
  • Uday Kotak also added over $4 billion to his net worth.
  • Gautam Adani jumped from position eight on Forbes rich list to position two.

Life is good for billionaires. But three Indian billionaires had an exceptionally good year in spite of a slowdown. And, they are the usual suspects — Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani, and Uday Kotak.

This year, 15 Indian billionaires lost over $1 billion, but the trio’s wealth grew substantially.

Ambani, the chairman of India’s most valued companies added $4.1 billion to his net worth. Amongst others, his telecom venture seems to be paying off. As he added 340 million subscribers in three years of launch, his shareholders rewarded him handsomely. But it is not just Jio, revenues from Reliance Retail too grew at 47.5% to ₹38,196 crore in the quarter ending June 2019.

The venture which was launched in 2015, is now seeing the benefits of scale, in the CFO’s own words.

Uday Kotak, the billionaire promoter of Kotak Mahindra bank, also added $4 billion to his net worth. All this is thanks to the government’s move to reduce the corporate tax rate from 30% to 22%, reported Forbes.

His share value increased 39% in a year. India’s banking sector is under pressure because of loans which turned non-performing assets. According to Bloomberg, five of the 10 worst performing financial firms on the MSCI Emerging Markets since May were from India.

Kotak Mahindra Bank however is an oak in a forest of willows. In the first quarter of the year, the bank’s profits rose 33%, on lower provisions which is basically an indicator of good asset quality. Its net NPA also declined from 0.97% last year to 0.75% in 2019.

All these factors and more helped the country’s third largest bank retain and even gain share value, helping Uday Kotak increase his wealth.

The third gainer who bucked the slowed economic trend was Gautam Adani, who owns India’s largest private port at Mundra. Gautam Adani’s net worth increased from $8.7 billion in 2018 to

$11.4 billion — all thanks to the new businesses he is venturing into. His position in the list also jumped from eight to become the second richest person on the list, in a year.

He is venturing into new businesses like airport management, data centre parks, roads, water infrastructure, aerospace and defence.

The growth of Adani Group between 2014 and 2019 can be attributed to the Indian government. Adani won 25 out of 126 bids government bids across the various industries of the group. Moreover, he also got clearance to kickstart its Australian coal mine project after 9 years of delay — bringing his massive $10 billion investment into the mine — to fruition.

See also:
Adani Gas stock gains by over 13% after French major Total’s open offer
More than half of India's 100 richest people lost money in the past year, but the country's richest man got $4 billion richer
Byju Raveendran is the newest face on the Forbes list of 100 richest Indians
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