Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries (Photo: MANPREET ROMANA/AFP via Getty Images).
Radhakrishna N S
INDIA’S business tycoon Mukesh Ambani has lost his crown as Asia’s richest person to Jack Ma after the latest rout across global markets wiped almost $6 billion (£5bn) off his fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
All told, the world’s 500 richest people lost $238.5bn on Monday (9), according to Bloomberg, the biggest daily plunge since the index began tracking them in October 2016.
The sell-off erased $5.8bn from 62-year-old Ambani’s net worth to leave him with a net worth of about $41.8bn.
He was overtaken by Chinese tycoon Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba whose fortune had fallen about $1.1bn to $44.5bn.
The slump in crude oil prices raises questions about the plans by Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to cut debt as they hinge on selling a stake in its oil and petrochemicals unit to Saudi Aramco, Bloomberg reported.
RIL, the operator of world’s biggest crude oil refining facility in the western Indian state of Gujarat slumped as much as 13.65 per cent, its biggest single-day fall in at least 10 years on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
Equity and oil markets went into meltdown on what has been dubbed Black Monday as growing fears about the economic impact of COVID-19 were compounded by Saudi Arabia’s decision to slash crude prices following a row with Russia over production cuts.
Crude prices tanked by a third in their worst drop since the 1991 Gulf War.
Meanwhile, Indian stocks on Monday recorded their worst single-day fall in more than four years, tracking global markets lower, as panic over the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak intensified and oil prices plummeted.
The NSE Nifty 50 index closed down 4.90 per cent at 10,451.45, its worst daily decline since August 2015.
The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex ended 5.17 per cent lower at 35,634.95.