India’s top 10 promoters and business families are poorer by a whopping $139 billion, thanks to the recent meltdown in the market. The amount is equivalent to around 16% of India’s gross domestic product and more than the combined GDP of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. In percentage terms, India’s top billionaires have lost more than 60% of their wealth since January 2008. The country’s top 10 business houses are now worth $84 billion (Rs 4.1 lakh crore) compared with $223 billion (over Rs 10 lakh crore) at the peak of the stock market early this year.
The biggest loser has been Anil Ambani with a loss of $32.2 billion. A sharp decline in stock prices in his leading group companies has resulted in more than 70% fall in the market value of Ambani Jr’s stake in his group’s listed entity. Based on Friday’s closing price, Anil Ambani is now worth $12.9 billion against $45.1 billion in January this year.
Mukesh Ambani continues to be India’s richest promoter despite 54% fall in his networth to $22 billion. Bharti Airtel’s Sunil Mittal has turned out to be most lucky among the pack. His networth has fallen by just 31% in the past nine months and is now closely behind Tata Group as India’s fourth-richest promoter. His stake in Airtel is now worth $12 billion compared with $17 billion in January this year.
In relative terms, the biggest fall has been recorded by the real estate barons — KP Singh (DLF) and Chandra’s (Unitech). A sharp decline in DLF’s stock price has now reduced KP Singh’s networth to over one-fourth of its level in January this year. Mr Singh is now worth $9 billion against nearly $35 billion early this year. Ramesh Chandra of Unitech has lost nearly 85% of his networth and is now worth only $2 billion compared with nearly $13 billion at the beginning of the year.