Richest people in the world: Gautam Adani tumbles from top 20 list as sell-off continues

The embattled Indian tycoon now has a net worth of $61.3 billion after a market rout erased half of his conglomerate's market value

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Embattled Indian billionaire Gautam Adani has tumbled out of the world’s top 20 richest people list after shedding another $10.7 billion of his net worth, as the market value of the Adani Group companies has been halved in a stock rout that started last week, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Adani Group chairman has had $59.2 billion wiped from his personal fortune since last week, when US investor Hindenburg Research accused companies owned by the Indian tycoon of “brazen” market manipulation and accounting fraud.


Shares in Adani Group companies plummeted on Thursday after the conglomerate cancelled its 200 billion Indian rupee ($2.43 billion) share sale, citing “volatile market conditions”, extending the decline in the market value of its associated 10 businesses to $108 billion.

The size of the wipeout increased to more than $118 billion on Friday as the sell-off continues.

“After a fully subscribed FPO [follow-on public offer], yesterday’s decision of its withdrawal would have surprised many,” Mr Adani said in a video address to investors on Thursday.

“But considering the volatility of the market seen yesterday [Wednesday], our board strongly felt that it would not be morally correct to proceed with the FPO.”

However, Adani Group dollar bonds rallied on Friday as Mr Adani was said to be in talks with creditors to prepay some loans in a bid to restore confidence in his business empire, Bloomberg reported.

The notes also pared losses from earlier in the week as Goldman Sachs Group and JP Morgan Chase told some clients that Adani bonds can offer value due to the strength of certain assets, Bloomberg said.

India’s parliamentary proceedings were also adjourned for a second day on Friday over motions to debate the Adani Group fallout, following opposition sloganeering and demands for an investigation into the company's stock rout.

Mr Adani, a self-made billionaire, is now the world’s 21st-richest person with a net worth of $61.3 billion, a sharp drop from the peak of his wealth of $150 billion in September last year.

He was one of the biggest wealth-gainers in 2022, adding $42.2 billion to his net worth and overtaking centibillionaires such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The tycoon started climbing the ranks of the world’s richest in April last year, when shares in his listed companies rocketed.

He ended 2022 as the world’s third-richest person with a fortune of $119 billion.

Mr Adani, a first-generation entrepreneur who began his career as a diamond trader in Mumbai in the 1980s, helped to run his brother’s plastics business in his home state of Gujarat before setting up Adani Enterprises — the group’s flagship company — as an agricultural commodities trader in 1988.

World's richest people in 2022 — in pictures

Meanwhile, Bernard Arnault, chairman of French luxury group LVMH, continues to hold the top spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a net worth of $193 billion. So far, this year, Mr Arnault has added $30.7 billion to his fortune.

Tesla co-founder and Twitter owner Elon Musk, who shed a whopping $138 billion from his personal fortune in 2022, is the world’s second-wealthiest person with a net worth of $174 billion.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is now the third-richest person with a net worth of $136 billion.

The world’s top 10 richest people

  1. Bernard Arnault — $193 billion
  2. Elon Musk — $174 billion
  3. Jeff Bezos — $136 billion
  4. Bill Gates — $115 billion
  5. Warren Buffett — $108 billion
  6. Larry Ellison — $102 billion
  7. Larry Page — $98.4 billion
  8. Sergey Brin — $94.6 billion
  9. Steve Ballmer — $94 billion
  10. Carlos Slim — $84.2 billion
Updated: February 13, 2023, 11:28 AM