Market rout costs India's Ambani Asia’s richest crown
NEW DELHI India's Mukesh Ambani has lost his crown as Asia's richest person after the latest rout across global markets wiped almost US$6 billion (S$8.3 billion) off his fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
All told, the world's 500 richest people lost US$238.5 billion on Monday, according to Bloomberg, the biggest daily plunge since the index began tracking them in October 2016.
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.
The sell-off erased US$5.8 billion from 62-year-old Ambani's net worth to leave him with a net worth of about US$41.8 billion.
He was overtaken by Chinese tycoon Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, whose fortune had fallen about US$1.1 billion to US$44.5 billion.
The slump in oil prices raises questions about plans by Mr Ambani's Reliance conglomerate to cut debt as they hinge on selling a stake in its oil and petrochemicals unit to Saudi Aramco, Bloomberg reported.
The carnage on global markets on Monday also lost Amazon founder and world's richest man Jeff Bezos US$5.6 billion and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett US$5.3 billion, Bloomberg said. However, they still have fortunes of US$111.8 billion and US$76.4 billion respectively.
Frenchman Bernard Arnault, chairman of luxury-goods giant LVMH, was Europe's biggest decliner with a US$4.4-billion drop in his net worth to US$81.4 billion. - AFP