Sun Pharma's Dilip Shanghvi pips Mukesh Ambani to become richest Indian

Dilip ShanghviDilip Shanghvi, founder and managing director of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, has overtaken Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani as the richest Indian, with a net worth of $21.5 billion, as per Forbes magazine's revised list of billionaires.

As per a 'real time' update by Forbes, Sun Pharma Group's Shanghvi was ranked richest in India, followed by Mukesh Ambani and Wipro chief Azim Premji taking second and third positions, respectively.

Shanghvi also moved up to 37th position on the global rich list, while Ambani slipped to 43rd position.

The shift in rankings was caused by a surge in the shares of Shanghvi's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries on Wednesday, which helped his wealth count rise to the top spot on Forbes' real time tracker.

Sun Pharma's stock surged 6.7 per cent to a record Rs1,006.30 at the close of trading in Mumbai on Wednesday, while Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd lost 1.4 per cent.

The rally was prompted by Sun Pharma's deal to acquire GlaxoSmithKline's opiates business in Australia to strengthen its pain management portfolio (See: Sun Pharma to buy Glaxo's Australian opiates business). Sun's subsidiary Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company also reported that the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved its new drug application for its anti-epileptic drug ELEPSIA XR.

Shares of Reliance Industries have fallen by 0.4 per cent since the beginning of the year while SunPharma shares gained nearly 19 per cent during the two months of the year

The gains of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, the country's largest pharmaceutical company, also helped pharma stocks rally.
 
Shanghvi, who is also the world's richest pharmaceutical billionaire, added $4.5 billion to his fortune this year, making him fourth-wealthiest in Asia, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Ambani's net worth has increased $153 million since the start of 2015.

Forbes had earlier, on Monday, released its annual Rich List for 2015, wherein Mukesh Ambani was ranked 39th and the richest Indian, while Shanghvi was at 44th place. Premji was ranked 48th on that list, from which he has moved up one place now.

Shanghvi, who started his pharmaceutical business more than three decades ago selling a single drug, now controls India's biggest drugmaker by market cap.

He had a net worth of $21.6 billion against Mukesh Ambani's net worth of $21.5 billion as of the end of the trading day on Wednesday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.