Birla, Ambanis on Forbes' billionaires list

Friday, 28 February 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW YORK: Reliance Induatries' Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani, Kumaramangalam Birla, Britain-based steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal of the LNM Group, Adi Godrej of the Godrej Group, construction magnate and real estate developer Palonji S. Mistry and software billionaire Shiv Nadar of the HCL Group have figured in this year's Forbes Billionaires club. Wipro chief Azim Premji leads the list.

Japan topped the list of Asian countries on the annual list, with 19 of its nationals finding a mention. Hong Kong, now a part of China, came in second with 11 citizens. India takes the third spot.

Bangalore-based Premji was placed at 45 and was valued at $5.9 billion. The Ambanis were clubbed together at number 123 with a value of $2.8 billion.

Birla was valued at $2.4 billion, Mittal at $2.2 billion and Mistry at $2.0 billion. Godrej had $1.1 billion and Shiv Nadar came in last with $1 billion.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates topped the list yet again with a net worth of $40.7 billion. Next came investment guru Warren Buffet with $30.5 billion.

The list reflected the global slowdown. As a group, this year's billionaires are worth $1.4 trillion, $141 billion less than last year.

The only region whose accumulated worth remained relatively stable was Europe, said Forbes.

Thirty-seven women made it to the list of 476 billionaires, led by Alicia Walton and her mother Helen Walton of Wal-Mart at spots seven and eight. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey entered the billionaire club with a net value of $1 billion. Unlike several rich people world over, Winfrey's fortunes grew in the last year.

The youngest on the list is 19-year-old German Albert von Thurn und Taxis, who inherited his $1.5 billion portion of a family fortune when he turned 18 last year. The average age on the list is 64 but there are 25 billionaires under 40.
Source: IANS
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