Business

Ambani topples Jack Ma to become Asia’s richest person

Ambani topples Jack Ma to  become Asia’s richest person
Mukesh Ambani
Mumbai, Jul 13 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/14/2018 12:24:13 AM IST
Mukesh Ambani overtook Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma to become Asia’s richest person as he positions Reliance Industries Ltd. to disrupt the e-commerce space in India. The chairman of India’s refining-to-telecoms conglomerate, Ambani was estimated to be worth $44.3 billion on Friday with Reliance Industries Ltd. rising 1.6 percent to a record 1,099.8 rupees, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Ma’s wealth stood at $44 billion at close of trade on Thursday in the U.S., where the company is listed.
Ambani has added $4 billion to his fortune this year as Reliance doubled its petrochemicals capacity and investors cheered the success of his disruptive telecom upstart Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. Then earlier this month, the tycoon unveiled plans to leverage his 215 million telecom subscribers to expand his e-commerce offerings, taking on the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Ma has lost $1.4 billion in 2018.
“We need to broaden our horizon of expectation with Reliance,” said Nitin Tiwari, a Mumbai-based analyst at Antique Stock Broking. “They are in for something really transformational.”
Ambani, best known for executing large-scale projects, spearheaded construction of the world’s largest refining complex in Jamnagar, owns the most-widespread mobile data network globally and claims to have India’s biggest as well as most-profitable retail firm.
At this month’s annual shareholders’ meeting, Ambani said Reliance saw its “biggest growth opportunity in creating a hybrid, online-to-offline new commerce platform,” involving the group’s Reliance Retail Ltd. and Reliance Jio businesses.
The latter will introduce a fiber-based broadband service across 1,100 Indian cities in August in what Ambani said would be the biggest greenfield fixed-line rollout anywhere in the world.
Within a week of the announcements, Reliance re-entered the $100 billion club after more than a decade. He used the same venue two years ago to announce his disruptive telecom venture with free offers that eventually forced smaller rivals to quit and the biggest ones to merge.

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