Indian billionaires

I wrote about the richest man in Kolkata yesterday after reading an article in The Economist about how the eastern Indian city has declined in importance.  The 2011 Forbes list of richest Indians shows there are no billionaires in Kolkata. Sanjiv, the richest man in Kolkata, according to Forbes, is ranked 72nd on the list with an estimated net worth of $725 million.

Here’s the complete list of Indian billionaires published by Forbes. There are 57 in all, most of them in Mumbai and Delhi though there are some in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderbad and Pune and — farther afield — in London, Dubai and Singapore.Continue Reading

Singapore ministers’ salaries pegged to millionaires’ incomes

Singapore ministers will continue to be among the highest paid in the world even after proposed pay cuts ranging from 36 per cent for the prime minister to 37 per cent for “entry level” incumbents, as we saw in the previous post.

The Committee to Review Ministerial Salaries headed by Gerard Ee has changed the benchmark for ministers’ salaries while proposing the pay cuts.

What it doesn’t say is whether the ministers would have been paid more or less if it did not change the benchmark.

The restriction that the ministers’ salaries should be pegged to the income of only the top eight earners from certain professions and businesses has been lifted.

Instead, the committee proposes the ministers’ salaries be pegged to the median income of  the top 1,000 earners who are Singapore citizens, irrespective of their occupations.

Surely, that group includes more businessmen, some of whom are billionaires. Only eight “manufacturers” were part of the group the ministers’ salaries were pegged to earlier.Continue Reading

100 richest people: Mukesh Ambani 4th, Mittal 5th

The New York Times' Mexican investor Carlos Slim Helu is the richest man in the world, worth $53.5 billion, according to the 2010 Forbes list of the world's billionaires.

Bill Gates is the second richest, with $53 billion, Warren Buffett third, with $47 billion, and then come the Indians Mukesh Ambani, fourth, with $29 billion, and Lakshmi Mittal, fifth, with $28.7 billion.

Lawrence Ellison of Oracle is sixth, with $28 billion, and Bernard Arnault of LVMH seventh, with $27.5 billion. He is the richest European.

Mukesh Ambani's brother, Anil Ambani, is down to 36th, with $13.7 billion. Fellow Indian Azim Premji of Wipro is richer, ranked 28th, with $17 billion. Other Indians among the 100 richest billionaires are  Shashi and Ravi Ruia, ranked 40th, with $13 billion, Savitri Jindal, 44th, with $12.2 billion, Kushal Pal Singh, 74th with $9 billion, Kumar Birla, 86th, with $7.9 billion, Sunil Mittal, 87th, with $7.8 billion       

Li Ka-shing is the richest Chinese, taking the 14th spot with $21 billion, just ahead of Jim Walton of Wal-Mart, ranked 15th with $20.7 billion, and Alice Walton,also of Wal-Mart, who is 16th with $20.6 billion. Read on to see the list of the world's 100 richest people.

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World’s 67 most powerful people: Forbes

President Barack Obama is the most powerful person in the world followed by the Chinese President Hu Jintao, according to Forbes. Here is the Forbes list of the world's most powerful people. There are 67 people on the list including the great and the good as well as terrorist and criminal masterminds such as Osama bin Laden and Dawood Ibrahim and the drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman.

Indians on the list include Manmohan Singh, Mukesh Ambani, Lakshmi Mittal and Ratan Tata. All of them except Tata are ranked higher than the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He pips Steve Jobs of Apple but trails behind the soccer czar Joseph Blatter, the entertainer Oprah Winfrey and Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy chairman Bernard Arnault.

The Chinese communist party propaganda chief Li Changchun is also on the list with Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, BBC director-general Mark Thompson, the New York Times executive editor William Keller and the Al-Jazeera director-general Wadah Khanfar.

Chinese central banker Zhou Xiaochuan is outranked by his American, European and Japanese counterparts.

Both Hillary and Bill Clinton appear on the list — the only couple to do so.

Religious figures on the list include the Pope, the Dalai Lama and the Shia Grand Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei of Iran.

North Korea's Kim Jong Il and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez also make the list but not the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The only United Nations official on the list is the High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres.

Sovereign wealth fund heads on the list include Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed al Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Lou Jiwei of China Investment Corporation.

1 Barack Obama President USA 48
2 Hu Jintao President China 66
3 Vladimir Putin Prime Minister Russia 57
4 Ben Bernanke Chairman Federal Reserve 55
5 Sergey Brin and Larry Page Founders Google 36
6 Carlos Slim Helu Chief executive Telmex 69
7 Rupert Murdoch    Chairman News Corp 78
8 Michael Duke CEO Wal-Mart 59
9 Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al King Saudi Arabia 85
10 William Gates III Co-Chair Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 54
11 Pope Benedict XVI Pope Roman Catholic Church 82
12 Silvio Berlusconi Prime Minister Italy 73
13 Jeffrey R. Immelt Chairman General Electric Company 53
14 Warren Buffett Chief executive Berkshire Hathaway 79
15 Angela Merkel Chancellor Germany 55
16 Laurence D. Fink Chairman BlackRock, Inc. 57
17 Hillary Clinton Secretary of State USA 62
18 Lloyd C. Blankfein Chairman Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. 55
19 Li Changchun Propaganda chief Communist Party of China 65
20 Michael Bloomberg Mayor & founder New York City & Bloomberg 67
21 Timothy Geithner Secretary US Treasury 48
22 Rex W. Tillerson Chairman ExxonMo Corp. 57
23 Li Ka-shing Chairman Cheung Kong  and Hutchison Whampoa 81
24 Kim Jong Il Chairman of of National Defence Commission North Korea 68
25 Jean-Claude Trichet President European Central Bank 66

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Singapore’s richest 40 worth over 20% of GDP

The net worth of Singapore's 40th wealthiest individuals and families is equal to 21.4 percent of Singapore's gross domestic product. They include eight billionaires and have a total net worth of $39 billion, according to Forbes. That's 20 percent more than the $32 billion they had last year, it adds, their fortunes rising as the economy recovers from recession.

Singapore's gross domestic product last year was $181.9 billion, according to the 2009 Global Competitiveness Report, which says Singapore is the world's third most competitive economy after front-ranked Switzerland and second-placed America.

Property tycoons dominate the Singapore rich list, topped by 81-year-old Ng Teng Fong of Far East Organization, Singapore's largest property developer.

The oldest tycoon is 91-year-old Chang Yun Chung, the China-born founder of the shipping line, Pacific International Lines. He is estimated to be worth $640 million and ranked 13th. The youngest is Koh Wee Meng, 46, worth $360 million and ranked 20th. He deals in both property (Fragrance) and jewellery (Aspial), according to Forbes.

Here are the top 20, according to Forbes:

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