Mumbai: Gautam Adani has slipped out of the list of the world’s top 10 richest people and could soon be supplanted as Asia’s wealthiest person if shares in his conglomerate continue to slide.
The Indian tycoon has fallen from fourth place to 11th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a personal wealth wipeout of $34 billion in just three trading days.
With a current fortune of $84.4 billion, Adani now sits just one spot above rival and Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, whose net worth is $82.2 billion.
However, based on Forbes’ live wealth ranking [as of 5pm, January 30, 2023], Adani’s estimated net worth of $84.4 billion makes him keep the world’s 8th-richest spot, ahead of Google’s Larry Page (at No. 9 with $84.3 billion) and below Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu at No. 7, with $92.5 billion.
Shares of Adani Group companies have plummeted in a three-day selloff, following the publication of a report by Hindenburg Research alleging “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud.”
Adani now languishes below Mexico’s Carlos Slim, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on the Billionaires Index.
Rout hits $75 billion
Adani Total Gas Ltd. plunged by 10 per cent daily limit to lead losses in most of the group’s stocks. Flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd. was up about 2 per cent in early trading in Mumbai, but remained below the floor price set for its follow-on share sale. Ten of the conglomerate’s companies have seen about $75 billion in market value erased as the rout entered a fourth session.
Adani is seeking to execute the landmark share sale to repay some of the group companies’ debt just as it refutes allegations made by Hindenburg last week. The rapid decline in share prices has eroded the billionaire’s personal wealth and also weighed on India’s stock market, where some of his companies were the top performers last year.
There will be no change to the pricing and the share sale will proceed as scheduled, Adani Group CFO Jugeshinder Singh told news channel CNBC TV-18 in an interview earlier.
While investors in Indian public offerings typically wait until the last day of the sale - Tuesday - to place bids, other large-size follow-ons before Adani’s have had much stronger adherence after two days of books open.
On the positive side, Adani Group companies rebounded in the dollar bond market after some dropped to record lows the day before.