New York: Petrochemicals giant Reliance Industries’ chief Mukesh Ambani has snatched the title of the world’s richest Indian from NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal even as both saw their fortunes dwindle to less than half in a year, U.S. magazine Forbes has said.

With a net worth of $19.5 billion, Mukesh Ambani has been ranked seventh in the global list (down from last year’s fifth slot, losing more than $23 billion).

He is followed by Mr. Mittal at the eighth place with $19.3 billion (down from fourth; lost more that $ 25 billion). Seven among the top 100 are Indians. Other than Mr. Mukesh Ambani and Mr. Mittal, there is Anil Ambani (34th; $10.1 billion), Sunil Mittal (59th; $7.7 billion), Azim Premji (83rd; $5.7 billion), Shashi & Ravi Ruia (86th; $5.6 billion), K.P. Singh (98th; $5 billion).

Anil Ambani’s rank has nosedived from last year’s sixth place to 34th, losing $32 billion. Forbes said that Anil Ambani, last year’s biggest gainer in terms of wealth, has emerged as the biggest loser.

The cumulative wealth of Indian billionaires has been eroded by $180 billion and now stands at about $109 billion.

The Indian presence has more than halved (from 53 a year ago) in the shrinking club of world’s billionaires and the league of 10 richest persons in the world now includes just two Indians, down from four a year ago. Interestingly, this year there are four Indians among the 10 biggest losers — Anil Ambani, Lakshmi Mittal, K.P. Singh and Mukesh Ambani — the same persons who were among the world’s 10 richest in last year’s list. — PTI