Adani edges out Musk, Ambani as year’s biggest wealth gainer

India’s Gautam Adani has gained more wealth this year than anyone else in the world, including Elon Musk and Mukesh Ambani, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Gautam Adani attends a luncheon in Tokyo, Japan.
Gautam S Adani, centre, a first-generation entrepreneur who rarely speaks publicly, has jumped $16.2bn in 2021 to $50bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index [File: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg]

Indian tycoon Gautam Adani has added more billions to his wealth than any one else in the world this year on the back of investor excitement around his ports-to-power plants conglomerate.

The net worth of Adani, a first-generation entrepreneur who rarely speaks publicly, has jumped $16.2 billion in 2021 to $50 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This has made him the year’s biggest wealth gainer, beating even Elon Musk, who has tussled with Jeff Bezos in 2021 for the title of world’s richest. Shares of all Adani group stocks, except one, have rallied at least 50% this year.

The surge in wealth dwarfs the $8.1 billion added by Adani’s compatriot and the richest person in Asia, Mukesh Ambani. It also underscores the rising heft of the self-made billionaire, who has lured investment from Total SA to Warburg Pincus. Adani has been rapidly expanding his conglomerate, adding ports, airports, data centers and coal mines in India, while doggedly proceeding with his controversial Carmichael coal project in Australia.

“Adani has been consistently expanding its business in areas that are resilient to market cycles,” said Sunil Chandiramani, founder and chief executive officer at Nyka Advisory Services. “Now with the entry in data centers business, the group has also indicated its appetite for venturing into technology.”

Adani Enterprises Ltd. signed a pact last month to develop 1 gigawatt of data center capacity in India.

Adani Total Gas Ltd., top performer in the group, has jumped almost 97% this year while the flagship Adani Enterprises has advanced 87%. Adani Transmission Ltd. is up 77%. Adani Power Ltd. and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. have gained more than 50% this year. Adani Green Energy Ltd., after rising over 500% last year, has climbed 10% so far.

(Updates year-to-date rise in Adani Group companies’ shares in the last paragraph.)

Source: Bloomberg