Adani becomes third wealthiest after fortune soars

Adani becomes third wealthiest after fortune soars: A few years ago, Gautam Adani was mainly unknown outside India. But last week, the Indian billionaire, a dropout from college who initially tried his luck as a diamond dealer before switching to coal, became the third-richest person in the world.

It is the first time an Asian has entered the top three of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Jack Ma of China and fellow citizen Mukesh Ambani have never done so.

With a fortune of $137.4 billion, Adani has surpassed Bernard Arnault of France and is now just behind US billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in wealth.

The 60-year-old Adani has invested the last five years in growing his coal-to-ports conglomerate by foraying into various industries. Including data centers, cement, media, and alumina. The firm today controls the biggest private-sector coal miner, city-gas distributor, and operator of ports and airports in India.

Environmentalists have attacked the company’s Carmichael mine in Australia. But it promised in November to spend $70 billion on renewable energy to become the most significant generator in the world.

While his enterprise has grown to become one of the most significant companies in the world, fuelling the extraordinary increases in wealth, worries have developed about the expansion’s quick pace.

According to a study released this month by CreditSights. Adani’s business expansion has  supported mainly by debt, and his empire is “seriously over-leveraged.”

Concerns over ambiguous ownership arrangements and a shortage of analyst coverage at Adani Group firms have also voiced by certain politicians and market observers.

However, as the billionaire concentrated on sectors that Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes are essential to achieving India’s long-term objectives, the shares have risen. Some of them by more than 1,000% since 2020, with prices reaching 750 times earnings.

The shift to green energy and infrastructure has attracted investments from companies like Warburg Pincus and TotalEnergies SE. Allowing Adani to surpass US tech moguls in the hitherto untapped market. His rise has been accelerated even more by the recent jump in coal prices.

Adani increased his wealth by $60.9 billion in 2022 alone, five times more than anybody else. He initially eclipsed Ambani as the wealthiest Asian in February, hit the billionaire mark in April. This month passed Bill Gates of Microsoft Corp. to become the fourth-richest person in the world.

Due in part to their recent increase in generosity. Some of the most prominent US billionaires have allowed Adani to surpass them in wealth.

For example, while Warren Buffett has previously given the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation more than $35 billion, Bill Gates said in July that he would transfer $20 billion to the organization.

Together with Melinda French Gates, Bill Gates’ ex-wife, they launched the Giving Pledge campaign in 2010. They promising to donate most of their wealth before passing away.

Their position on the Bloomberg wealth list has decreased due to the enormous sums of money spent on charity. Currently, they are 164th and sixth, respectively.

Adani, who turned 60 in June, has expanded his charity donations, promising to contribute $7.7 billion to support humanitarian initiatives.