India has more billionaires than France or Germany

03 March 2014

India is now home to the fifth largest number of billionaires in the world, according to the 2014 Hurun Report, a monthly magazine best known for its country rich lists, with 17 new billionaires added this year, making a total of 70.

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd, remains the country's richest man with a personal fortune of $18 billion, while Lakshmi Mittal was second with a personal net worth of $17 billion, according to the Chinese research firm.

The combined wealth of Indian billionaires came to $390 billion; and the country is behind only the US, China, Russia and the UK, and ahead of Germany, Switzerland or France in the number of billionaires.

Mumbai alone is home to 33 Indian billionaires, putting the city among the top six billionaire cities in the world.

The increase in Indian billionaires came as a surprise to the authors as the Indian rupee had weakened by 12 per cent against the US dollar last year, theoretically making it harder for Indians to make the cut. But despite the currency fluctuations, India managed to improve its position in this respect at least.

The world's richest man remained Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates with a personal fortune of $68 billion an increase of $14 billion from last year - followed by Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett ($64 billion) and Inditex's Amancio Ortega ($62 billion). They were followed by Carlos Slim Helu and family and Larry Ellison.

The list ranked 1,867 billionaires from 68 countries. Seven in the top ten of the list are from the United States. Bill Gates is at the top of the wealthiest men list with a fortune of US$ 68 billion. This is an increase by US$ 14 billion as compared to last year.

As per the website, wealth calculations are a snapshot of January 17, 2014. The list ranked 1,867 billionaires from 68 countries.

This is the third year that Hurun Report has released a ranking of the billionaires in the world, the so-called 'Nine-Zero Club'

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