India’s economic growth has slowed, and the country’s richest people haven’t been spared the effects.
Forbes released its 2019 ranking of India’s 100 Richest People, and it showed that more than half of India’s richest people lost money in 2019.
“Under the Narendra Modi-led government, which returned to power for a second term with a thumping majority in May, economic growth slowed to 5%, a six-year low,” Naazneen Karmali wrote for Forbes.
According to Karmali, the automobile and consumer goods industries were hit particularly hard, with layoffs and production cuts. Fourteen of India’s richest lost at least $1 billion, and nine of last year’s richest didn’t make this year’s list.
The country’s richest man, however, got even richer despite the economic turmoil. Mukesh Ambani, who runs the oil-gas-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries, added $4.1 billion to his net worth.
The Ambani family is known for living in a lavish, 27-story skyscraper in Mumbai that cost an estimated $1 billion to build. The weddings of two of Ambani’s children, in December 2018 and March 2019, were attended by the likes of Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Hillary Clinton, actress Priyanka Chopra, and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.
The next-richest Indian, Gautam Adani, is worth an estimated $15.7 billion. That may be a whopping $37 billion less than Ambani, but Adani rose eight spots in the past year to become the second-richest man in India. The infrastructure and coal mining billionaire got approval in 2019 to start work on a coal mine in Australia after waiting nine years, according to Forbes. Adani also controls India’s largest port, Mundra Port.
While most Indian billionaires — with exceptions such as Ambani and Adani — lost money in the past year, billionaires in France made more money than their counterparts anywhere else in the world, as Taylor Nicole Rogers reported for Business Insider.
The personal fortunes of French billionaires grew more than twice as fast as those of American and Chinese billionaires in the first half of 2019, Bloomberg’s Alexander Sazonov reported in July, mainly thanks to China’s growing desire for luxury goods.
Take Bernard Arnault, France’s richest person and the third-richest in the world, who runs LVMH, the world’s largest maker of luxury goods. Last week, Arnault made $5.1 billion in less than 48 hours — and he’s now made more money in 2019 than any other person listed in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.