Jack Ma is no longer the richest man in Asia – at least for now
An Indian businessman has overtaken the Alibaba founder, becoming the wealthiest man in Asia basing off Bloomberg's latest Billionaire Index last Friday, 13 July.
He is Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of conglomerate Reliance Industries. His estimated wealth rose to USD44.3 billion, surpassing Jack Ma's USD44 billion at the US stock exchange, where Alibaba is listed.
The 61-year-old man is the driving force behind Reliance Industries, an oil-to-telecommunications behemoth, also the second largest company in India.
His net worth soared after Reliance Industries stocks raised to a record high of 1.6% to 1,099.8 rupees, according to financial news platform Bloomberg.
Ambani, together with his family, control more than 43% of the company, which started out with humble beginnings as a textile manufacturer.
Reliance's recent surge was reportedly brought about by its aggresive expansion into the telco industry through Jio, a fibre-based broadband service aiming to service over 1,100 Indian cities in August
At a recent shareholders' meeting, Ambani said Reliance saw its "biggest growth opportunity in creating a hybrid, online-to-offline new commerce platform". He is hopeful that "the size of Reliance will more than double" by 2025, South China Morning Post reported.
"We need to broaden our horizon of expectation with Reliance. They are in for something really transformational," Nitin Tiwari, a Mumbai-based analyst at Antique Stock Broking told Bloomberg.
In June, Jack Ma was in Malaysia to officiate the launch of the first Alibaba office in Southeast Asia. He also had a brief chat with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad: