Mukesh Ambani enters $100-bn club as RIL shares hit new high
Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man and chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has entered the coveted club of people with a net worth of more than $100 billion after the energy-to-telecom conglomerate’s shares hit a new high.
RIL shares touched a high of Rs 2,479.85 apiece on the BSE on Monday. The shares later cooled off a tad on profit-taking to Rs 2,427.30 apiece, giving the company a market valuation of Rs 15.39 trillion ($210 billion).
Overall, his family’s 49.14% stake in Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is now worth $103 billion.
RIL is India’s most valuable company, ahead of IT major Tata Consultancy Services. RIL is, in fact, miles ahead of HDFC Bank, Infosys and Hindustan Unilever Ltd, which make up the top five of India’s most valuable listed companies. Insurance behemoth, the Life Insurance Corp of India, arguably the country’s most valuable firm, is not yet listed.
RIL shares had slumped by a third in March 2020, touching a low of Rs 875 apiece, in line with a stock market crashed after the Covid-19 pandemic engulfed the world. Since then, however, the shares have soared almost 180%, outpacing the benchmark BSE Sensex’s 125% gain.
Ambani is not only the richest Indian, but also Asia’s wealthiest person. The next Asian on the list is also an Indian, Gautam Adani of the Adani Group, who is ranked a few places below Ambani with an estimated net worth of $70.7 billion.
The $100-bn club
Ambani may have also vaulted into the top 10 of the world’s wealthiest people. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, who is worth $201 billion, tops the list, according to Forbes magazine.
Bezos is followed by Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault and his family that control the luxury brand Louis Vetton, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Ambani’s Reliance has businesses spanning dozens of verticals and domains from oil and gas, to telecom and retail.
Even as the Saudi Arabian energy giant Aramco is reportedly looking to pick up a significant stake in his refining business for as much as $25 billion, Ambani has also tied up with top Internet companies like Google and Facebook, which have bought significant stakes into its digital arm Jio Platforms.
On top of that, Ambani now says he wants to invest $10 billion into India’s renewable energy sector, which has seen significant growth in the last six years, since the Narendra Modi government began pushing solar power auctions aggressively.
If Ambani’s RIL does become a significant player in India’s green energy space, it will open up a new sector for a conglomerate that began life in 1965-66 as Reliance Textile Engineers Pvt Ltd, a synthetic fabrics mill.
In later years, the company would expand its business into sectors such as refining and fuel retailing, oil and gas exploration, telecom, retail, media and entertainment, fashion and e-commerce.
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