Thursday, 13 November 2008

Indian billionaires club halves with 27 exits in a year

Meltdown in equity and property markets has lead to 27 Indians moving out of India's billionaires club, the size of which has now
halved from 54 members a year ago.

According to the latest Forbes 40 richest Indian list, there are only 27 billionaires with 10-figure fortunes, where as last year there were 54 of them. This year the number of billionaires are even less than 2006, when there were 36 billionaires.

This year's Forbes list has six dropouts who collectively lost USD 7.9 billion. They have been replaced by four newcomers and two, who made it to the list after a gap of one year.

Forbes noted, "The party is over for now. Mallya's net worth tumbled to USD 390 million as his liquor stocks got hit; his main holding, United Breweries (Holdings), is down 87 per cent since its January high and the news could get worse still."

Other major dropouts include Ballarpur Industries' Gautam Thapar and real estate baron Rakesh Wadhawan, whose Housing Development & Infrastructure stock was pounded amid rumours that the company was overstretched, Forbes added.

The other major dropouts include -- Vikas Oberoi of Oberoi Constructions, Anu Aga of Thermax and Lanco Infratech's L Madhusudhan Rao.

The four newcomers include Micky Jagtiani, who oversees a retailing empire in the Middle East and Hemant Shah, son of a Bollywood film producer, who made his fortune in construction.

While, Yusuf Hamied, head of generics producer Cipla, and Brijmohan Lall Munjal, patriarch of Hero Group have made it to the list after a gap of one year.

Interestingly, Chinese billionaires also met with similar fate as the number of billionaires this year are just 24 as against 66 in 2007, due to global economic woes.

Source: EconomicTimes

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