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. [Read more...]

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. [Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

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.


1Barack ObamaPresidentUSA48
2Hu JintaoPresidentChina66
3Vladimir PutinPrime MinisterRussia57
4Ben BernankeChairmanFederal Reserve55
5Sergey Brin and Larry PageFoundersGoogle36
6Carlos Slim HeluChief executiveTelmex69
7Rupert Murdoch   ChairmanNews Corp78
8Michael DukeCEOWal-Mart59
9Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz alKingSaudi Arabia85
10William Gates IIICo-ChairBill & Melinda Gates Foundation54
11Pope Benedict XVIPopeRoman Catholic Church82
12Silvio BerlusconiPrime MinisterItaly73
13Jeffrey R. ImmeltChairmanGeneral Electric Company53
14Warren BuffettChief executiveBerkshire Hathaway79
15Angela MerkelChancellorGermany55
16Laurence D. FinkChairmanBlackRock, Inc.57
17Hillary ClintonSecretary of StateUSA62
18Lloyd C. BlankfeinChairmanGoldman Sachs Group, Inc.55
19Li ChangchunPropaganda chiefCommunist Party of China65
20Michael BloombergMayor & founderNew York City & Bloomberg67
21Timothy GeithnerSecretaryUS Treasury48
22Rex W. TillersonChairmanExxonMo Corp.57
23Li Ka-shingChairmanCheung Kong  and Hutchison Whampoa81
24Kim Jong IlChairman of of National Defence CommissionNorth Korea68
25Jean-Claude TrichetPresidentEuropean Central Bank66

[Read more...]

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:

[Read more...]

World’s 100 richest people

Bill Gates is the world’s richest man once again, trading places with Warren Buffet who has moved down to second spot, according to Forbes magazine. The economic meltdown has shaken up the billionaire club. The world today has 793 billionaires down from 1,125 last year. Forbes says:

The world's richest are also a lot poorer. Their collective net worth is $2.4 trillion, down $2 trillion from a year ago. Their average net worth fell 23% to $3 billion. The last time the average was that low was in 2003.

Indians and Russians are among the biggest losers. Anil Ambani, who was the world’s sixth richest person last year, now ranks 34th on the list. He lost $31.9 billion–76% of his fortune–as shares of his Reliance Communications, Reliance Power and Reliance Capital all collapsed. Ambani, now estimated to be worth $10.1 billion, is one of 24 Indian billionaires, all but one of whom are poorer than a year ago. Another 29 Indians lost their billionaire status entirely. India's stock market has fallen 44% in a year, global equity prices 39%.

Indians ranked among the top 100 include:

  • Mukesh Ambani (now seventh richest, down from fifth last year, with an estimated net worth of $19.5 billion),
  • Lakshmi Mittal (eighth richest, down from fourth, worth $19.3 billion),
  • Anil Ambani (34th, down from sixth, worth $10.1 billion),
  • Sunil Mittal (59th, up from 64th, worth $7.7 billion),
  • Azim Premji (83rd, down from 60th, worth $ 5.7 billion)
  • Sashi and Ravi Ruia (86th, down from 43rd, worth $5.6 billion),
  • KP Singh (98th, down from eighth, worth an estimated $5 billion).

Russian Roman Abramovich, the world’s 15th richest person last year, is now 51st on the list. Investor Kirk Kerkorian has dropped from 41st to 98th place.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has moved up from No 90 to No 70.

Financier George Soros is among the biggest gainers, moving up from 97th to 29th spot. Another big gainer is hedge fund manager James Simons, up from 178th to 55th spot.

Hightech billionaires in the top 100 include Bill Gates, Oracle’s Lawrence Ellison, Dell’s Michael Dell, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer and Paul Allen, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. All of them moved up.

Li Ka-shing is the richest Chinese, down from 11th to 16th, worth an estimated $16.2 billion.

The richest man in Southeast Asia is Malaysian Ananda Krishnan, who ranks 62nd with another Malaysian, Robert Kuok, who is based in Hong Kong. Both are estimated to be worth $7 billion. Both moved up dramatically, Krishnan from 131st place last year, and Kuok from 97th.

The richest man in Singapore is Ng Teng Fong, 87th on the list – up from 132nd last year — with an estimated net worth of $5.5 billion.

Also in the top 100 are:

[Read more...]

Post-cut Singapore leaders better paid than Bush

Even after pay cuts, Singapore’s juniormost ministers will continue to be better paid than President Bush, Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy or Angela Merkel. The pay cuts  follow the recession in Singapore.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President SR Nathan will see their annual salaries cut by 19 percent while ministers and senior permanent secretaries will take an 18 percent pay cut in January next year.The Public Service Division announced:

  • President Nathan’s annual salary will be reduced to 3.14 million Singapore dollars ($2.07 million)
  • Prime Minister Lee’s to 3.04 million Singapore dollars ($2 million)
  • Ministerial grade salary to 1.57 million Singapore dollars ($1.02 million)
  • And the salaries of members of parliament – almost all of whom belong to the ruling People’s Action Party – to 190,000 Singapore dollars.

Forbes reported last year:

  • Bush is paid $400,000 a year, while his No. 2, Dick Cheney, pulls down $208,575.
  • Gordon Brown gets $375,000.
  • Nicolas Sarkozy draws $346,000.
  • Angela Merkel is paid $318,000.

    "Top of the tree by some degree is Singapore Premier Lee Hsien Loong," said Forbes.

    However, PM Lee has been donating the raises he has received since April last year, which increased his salary to 3.76 million Singapore dollars, to good  causes. And he will continue to do so for five years, said the Public Service Division.

    Singapore’s next general election has to be held by February 2012. Obviously, he expects to win the election.

    Singapore’s ministers are highly paid to attract top talent to public service.

    The average monthly salary in Singapore was 3,773 Singapore dollars  last year, according to a Ministry of Manpower report.

  • Indian billionaires

    There are 53 Indian billionaires on the Forbes list. Only three countries have more billionaires: there are 469 American billionaires, 87 Russian and 59 German billionaires.

    As for the other countries I checked, here are the figures:

    China 42, Britain 35, Turkey 35, Hong Kong 26, Canada 25, Japan 24, Brazil 18, Australia 14, France 14, Italy 13, Saudi Arabia 13, South Korea 12, Switzerland 11, Mexico 10, Israel nine, Malaysia eight, Taiwan seven, Lebanon seven, United Arab Emirates six, Ireland six, Netherlands five, Indonesia five, Kuwait four, New Zealand four, Norway four, South Africa four, Thailand three, Philippines two.  See this page on Forbes.

    Here the Indian billionaires are listed according to their global rankings on the Forbes list with their age in brackets and their  net worth in billions of dollars. All of them are Indian citizens and live in India unless otherwise mentioned.

    Rank Name            Age (in brackets)   Net worth

    4      Lakshmi Mittal (57) $45.0 billion Lives in UK

    5     Mukesh Ambani  (50) $43.0 billion

    6     Anil Ambani  (48) $42.0 billion   

    8     KP Singh (76) $30.0 billion    
    43     Shashi & Ravi Ruia  (NA)  $15.0 billion   

    60     Azim Premji  (62) $12.7 billion    
    64     Sunil Mittal  (50)  $11.8billion    
    76     Kumar Birla  (40)  $10.2 billion      

    86     Ramesh Chandra (68) $9.6 billion    
    91     Gautam Adani (45) $9.3 billion         
    110     Savitri Jindal (58)  $8.2 billion      
    164     Anil Agarwal (54)   $6.0 billion Lives in UK
    178     Adi Godrej (65) $5.5 billion      
    198     G M Rao  (57)  $5.2 billion   
    236     Indu Jain  (71) $$4.4 billion      
    260     Dilip Shanghvi  (52) $4.0 billion      
    277     Jaiprakash Gaur (77) $3.9 billion      
    277     Shiv Nadar (62) $3.9 billion      
    288     Uday Kotak (49)    $3.7 billion      
    307     Cyrus Poonawalla (66)  $3.5 billion       
    327     Anand Jain (51) $3.4 billion       
    368     Chandru Raheja (67) $3.0  billion       
    368     Tulsi Tanti  (50)  $3.0 billion      
    428     Rakesh Wadhawan (56) $2.7 billion    

    446      Kalanithi Maran (42) $2.6 billion         
    462     Malvinder & Shivinder Singh (35/33) $2.5 billion   
    462     Micky Jagtiani  (56)  $2.5 billion   Lives in United Arab Emirates
    524     Venugopal Dhoot (56) $2.3 billion   
    524     Subhash Chandra (57) $2.3 billion   
    573     Niranjan Hiranandani (58) $2.1 billion
    573     Rajan Raheja (53) $2.1 billion   
    605     Reji Abraham (41) $2.0 billion 
    677     Baba Kalyani  (59)  $1.8  billion   
    707     Vikas Oberoi (37)   $1.7 billion    
    743     Anurag Dikshit  (36) $1.6 billion Lives in Gibraltar
    785     GV Krishna Reddy (71) $1.5 billion   
    785     Gracias Saldanha  (71) $1.5 billion   
    843     Naresh Goyal  (58) $1.4  billion Lives in UK
    843     Gautam Thapar (47)  $1.4 billion    
    843     NR Narayana Murthy (61) $1.4 billion    
    897     Girish Tanti (38) $1.3 billion   
    897     Nimesh Kampani (61) $1.3 billion    
    897     Jitendra Tanti (43) $1.3 billion 
    962     Vijay Mallya (52) $1.2 billion   
    962     Sameer Gehlaut (34) $1.2 billion    
    962     Vinod Tanti (45) $1.2 billion 
    1014     Habil Khorakiwala (65) $1.1 billion   
    1014     Nandan Nilekani (52) $1.1 billion 
    1014     Anu Aga (65) $1.1 billion
    1014    Jignesh Shah  (41) $1.1 billion    
    1062     Senapathy Gopalakrishnan (52) $1.0 billion      
    1062     Rakesh Jhunjhunwala (47) $1.0 billion 
    1062     Rahul Bajaj (69)    $1.0 billion 

    Singaporean billionaires

    The five Singaporean billionaires on the Forbes list are

    • Ng Teng Fong, with $7 billion, ranked 132nd
    • Wee Cho Yaw, with $2.9 billion, ranked 396th
    • Zhong Sheng Jian, with $2.3 billion, ranked 524th
    • Kuok Khoon Hong, with $ 1.3 billion, ranked 897th
    • Peter Lim, with $1 billion, ranked 1062nd.

    Forbes lists 1,125 billionaires in the world. For Singaporean billionaires, check this page on Forbes.

    Singapore is the country of residence for eight billionaires, according to Forbes. They include the five Singaporeans and:

    • Indonesian Sukanto Tanoto, worth $3.8 billion, and ranked 284th
    • Fellow Indonesian Martua Sitorus, with $1.9 billion, ranked 652nd
    • American Robert Friedland with $1.4 billion ranked 843rd

    See this page on Forbes. There are eight Malaysian billionaires on the Forbes list. They are:

    • Robert Kuok worth $9 billion and ranked 97th (Living in Hong Kong)
    • Ananda Krishnan worth $7.2 billion and ranked 131st
    • Lee Shin Cheng worth $5.7billion and ranked 173rd
    • Teh Hong Piow worth $3.3 billion and ranked 334th
    • Quek Leng Chan worth $2.3 billion and ranked 524th
    • Yeoh Tiong Lay worth $2.1 billion and ranked 573rd
    • Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary worth $2 billion and ranked 605th
    • Tiong Hiew King worth $ 1.1 billion and ranked 1014th

    Four of world’s 10 richest men are Indians

    Four of the world’s 10 richest men are Indians, according to the latest Forbes billionaire rankings.

    Li Ka-shing is the richest Chinese, and the 11th richest man in the world.

    Prince Alaweed bin Talal, one of the biggest Citigroup investors, is the richest Arab, ranking 19th overall.

    It’s interesting that India’s Reliance Industries’ founder, the late Dhirubhai Ambani’s sons, Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani, are the fifth and sixth richest men in the world.

    Lakshmi Mittal is the richest Indian in the world, taking fourth place, just behind Bill Gates, and KP Singh is the other Indian in the top 10, taking the eighth spot. He is now the world’s richest real estate baron after listing his real estate development company, DLF City, last year, says Forbes.

    Warren Buffet, the Sage of Omaha, is now the world’s richest man: his fortune swelled by $10 billion to $62 billion last year as he made a series of shrewd punts, including a bet on Brazil’s currency and profit on the oil company PetroChina, which has drawn flak for its links to Sudan’s government, says the Guardian.

    And the most extraordinary thing about him?

    "Buffett’s still living in the same house he bought when he was 28 for $31,000," said his biographer, Robert Miles. "He will often kid Bill (Gates), who built a $40 billion or $50 billon mansion, that they ought to bet their houses (when they play bridge)."

    Here’s the link to the Forbes special report on billlionaires.

    For the first time the world has more than 1,000 billionaires, says Forbes. It found 1,125 billionaires worth a total of $4.4 trillion, up $900 billion from last year. Americans account for 42 percent of the world’s billionaires. Russia, with 87 billionaires, is the new No 2 country behind the US, overtaking Germany, which has 59. There are 226 new billionaires: 77 from the US, 35 from Russia, 28 from China and 19 from India. Fifty billionaires are below 40, including Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and India’s Sameer Gehlaut. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at 23 is the youngest billionaire, worth $1.5 billion. Brin, with $18.7 billion, and Page, with $18.6 billion, are the 32nd and 33rd richest men in the world. Michael Dell, with $16.4 billion, Paul Allen, with  $16 billion, and Steve Ballmer, with  $15 billion, are No 40, 41 and 43. Allen ties at 41 with investor Kirk Kerkorian, so there’s no 42. Gates’ closest high-tech rival is Oracle’s Lawrence Ellison, at No 14 with $25 billion. Steve Jobs, worth $5.4 billion, ranks 189th.

    The world’s 25 richest people are:

    • 1 Warren Buffett (Investments) $62.0 billion
    • 2 Carlos Slim Helu (Telecoms) $60.0 billion
    • 3 Bill Gates (Software) $58.0 billion
    • 4 Lakshmi Mittal (Steel) $45.0 billion
    • 5 Mukesh Ambani (Petrochemicals) $43.0 billion
    • 6 Anil Ambani (Diverse sources) $42.0 billion
    • 7 Ingvar Kamprad (Ikea stores) $31.0 billion
    • 8 KP Singh (Property) $30.0 billion
    • 9 Oleg Deripaska (Aluminium) $28.0 billion
    • 10 Karl Albrecht (Aldi stores) $27.0 billion
    • 11 Li Ka-shing (Diverse sources) $26.5 billion
    • 12 Sheldon Adelson (Casinos/hotels) $26.0 billion
    • 13 Bernard Arnault (Luxury goods) $25.5 billion
    • 14 Lawrence Ellison (Software) $25.0 billion
    • 15 Roman Abramovich (Oil) $23.5 billion
    • 16 Theo Albrecht (Aldi stores) $23.0 billion
    • 17 Liliane Bettencourt (L’Oréal) $22.9 billion
    • 18 Alexei Mordashov (Manufacturing) $21.2 billion
    • 19 Alaweed bin Talal (Investments) $21.0 billion
    • 20 Mikhail Fridman (Oil/banking) $20.8 billion
    • 21 Vladimir Lisin (Steel) $20.3 billion
    • 22 Amancio Ortega (Zara stores) $20.2 billion
    • 23 RTW Kwok (Property) $19.9 billion
    • 24 Mikhail Prokhorov (Nickel) $19.5 billion
    • 25 Vladimir Potanin (Nickel) $19.3 billion

    Walmart’s Christy Walton, Jim Walton, S Robson Walton and Alice Walton worth between $19 billion and $19.2 billion share the 26th to 29th spots.

    India’s Shashi and Ravi Ruia worth $15 billion share 43rd spot, above financier Carl Icahn, worth $14 billion, at No 46. India’s software giant Wipro Industries founder Azim Premji, worth $12.7 billion, ranks 60th above New York mayor and media baron Michael Bloomberg who, with $11.5 billion, ranks 65th. George Soros with $9 billion shares the 97th spot with Malaysia’s Robert Kuok. Ahead of them are Silvio Berlusconi ($9.4 billion, No 90), India’s Gautam Adani ($9.3 billion, No 91), Ramesh Chandra, also from India ($9.6 billion, No 86),  and fellow Indians Kumar Birla ($10.2 billion, No 76)  and Sunil Mittal ($11.8 billion, No 64).

    [Read more...]