India produces 27 new billionaires in 2015: Hurun Report

India added 27 new billionaires and consolidated its position at number three on the list of billionaires, behind China and the United States, according to the Hurun Report 2016. India has 111 billionaires, compared to China’s 568 and the United States’ 535.

The combined wealth of India’s billionaires went up 25 per cent to $308 billion (Rs 211 lakh crore) as compared to last year. Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, and Cyrus Poonawalla of Serum Institute added $6 billion and $4 billion to their wealth, respectively.

The manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and technology sectors produced 22, 20 and 15 billionaires, respectively. Mumbai remained the headquarters of most Indian billionaires.

“Despite its slowdown and falling stock markets, China minted more new billionaires than any other country in the world last year, mainly on the back of new listings. Growth in billionaires for the rest of the world was held back by a slowdown in the global economy, the strengthening of the US dollar and the drop in oil prices. The number of billionaires, however, has jumped 50 per cent since 2013,” Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report, said.

The richest Indians list did not throw up many surprises with Mukesh Ambani topping the list with a wealth of $26 billion, followed by Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi ($18 billion) and Pallonji Mistry ($13 billion) at number three. The data is till January 15.

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The Hurun Global Rich List 2016 ranked 2,188 billionaires from 68 countries, up 99 from last year, in another record-breaking year for the world’s billionaires. The total wealth increased by nine per cent to $7.3 trillion, more than the gross domestic product of Germany and the UK combined and close to half of the US.

According to the list, 729 individuals saw their wealth decrease while 102 dropped out of last year’s list. Russian billionaires lost $130 billion, on the back of a further 19 per cent drop in the Russian Rouble and with lacklustre performance of mining, metals and energy. The average age of billionaires remained the same at 64 years, while 69 per cent were self-made. 31-year old Mark Zukerberg of Facebook was the youngest billionaire among the top 10.

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