India’s Ambani not so rich after all, says company

NEW DELHI, Oct 30, 2007 (AFP) – Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries moved swiftly Tuesday to deny a report that company chief Mukesh Ambani has become the world’s richest man thanks to a surge in India’s stock market. The report by the Press Trust of India putting his wealth at 63.2 billion dollars saw newspapers hailing his rise as another triumph for the nation’s booming economy.

But Reliance said Ambani was not quite so rich after all, with a net worth of somewhere in the region of 50 billion dollars.

The multi-billionaire was listed by Forbes magazine earlier this year in 14th place among the world’s richest people with an estimated wealth of 20.1 billion dollars, way behind Microsoft’s Bill Gates on 56 billion dollars.

According to PTI, the breakneck rise in India’s benchmark Sensex index — which rocketed to 20,000 points Monday, after gaining nearly 4,000 points in six weeks — meant 49-year-old Ambani was now worth 63.2 billion.

“They are completely wrong. They have done double calculations,” Reliance spokesman Tushar Pania told AFP, explaining that Ambani, 49, does not have a direct share in Reliance Petroleum.

PTI calculated Ambani’s wealth on the strength of his holdings in Reliance