Mukesh Ambani becomes Asia's richest gainer, adds USD 17 billion in 2019
(PTI Photo/Mitesh Bhuvad)

Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani has added USD 17 billion to his wealth in 2019, which took his net worth to about $61 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

According to Bloomberg, Ambani's fortune this year was fuelled by a 40% jump in the shares of his Reliance Industries Ltd., a conglomerate that's pivoting more toward consumer offerings than its core oil refining and petrochemicals businesses. Investors are piling money on Reliance, betting newer businesses such as telecommunications and retail could soon unlock value.

Chakri Lokapriya, chief investment officer at TCG Asset Management, told Bloomberg "Mukesh Ambani changed the narrative for Reliance Industries. He successfully identified, invested and executed rapidly to create this new narrative. We believe this can potentially double shareholder value over the next four years."

Mukesh Ambani has also planned to make Reliance Industries Ltd. a zero net-debt company by March 2021. Plans include a stake sale in Reliance's oil-to-chemicals business to Saudi Arabian Oil Co., listings of the telecommunications and retail units within five years, sale of tower assets and strategic partners for a digital platform linked to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., the phone company.

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