Gautam Adani no longer among world’s 25 richest people

Mr. Adani’s net worth fell below $43.4 billion on Wednesday in the aftermath of the Hindenburg report, shaky shareholders’ trust and Wikipedia allegations

Updated - February 24, 2023 04:17 pm IST

Published - February 23, 2023 08:44 am IST

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani.

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani is no longer among the 25 richest billionaires in the world after his net worth dipped below $43.4 billion on February 22, according to Forbes and Bloomberg indices. The fall comes more than a month after the U.S. short-seller Hindenburg Research alleged the Gujarat-based conglomerate was mired deep in stock manipulations and accounting fraud.

Mr. Adani, who held the title of Asia’s richest person and the world’s third richest until recently, saw his personal net worth fall, making him the 26th richest billionaire, as per Forbes. The Adani Group’s stock witnessed another round of sell-off on Wednesday which wiped $3.6 billion from Mr. Adani’s personal net worth. Nike’s Phil Knight and family have surpassed Mr. Adani to take the 25th position, with a net worth of $46.3 billion, on the Forbes list. On the Bloomberg Index, he is ranked between Italy’s Giovanni Ferrero & family ($42.9 billion) and France’s Francois Pinault ($41.3 billion).

Mr. Adani started the year with a $121 billion net worth, positioning him as the third-richest person in the world. He was speculated to overtake Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and inch towards the top two. On February 1, Mr. Adani slipped to the 10th position as his net worth fell below Reliance Industries tycoon Mukesh Ambani’s, who took on the mantle of the richest Indian in the world, according to Forbes Real-time billionaire list for 2023.

On February 3, Mr. Adani was outside the top-20 bracket as his net worth further fell to $58 billion. Another round of market fluctuations earlier this week pushed Mr. Adani to the 25th place in the Forbes and Bloomberg real-time billionaires lists.

ALSO READ | How much has the Adani group lost since the Hindenburg report?

Mr. Adani has held the spot of India’s richest man since February 2022. He witnessed a surge in wealth during the COVID-19 pandemic with a marked addition of $42.7 billion to his fortune, making it the fifth biggest wealth surge in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He was briefly the second-richest person on the planet in September 2022 with his net worth at $156.3 billion.

The drop comes in the wake of the Hindenburg Report published on January 24, which claimed the Group manipulated stocks and made improper use of tax havens. Mr. Adani has repeatedly denied the report’s allegations and threatened legal action against the short seller. But market confidence remains low due to concerns about growth momentum and the ability to finance debt. The Adani Group has lost more than $135 billion in market capitalisation since January 24, according to Bloomberg.

On February 22, Adani’s flagship Adani Enterprises tumbled 10.4% on the BSE following reports that an employee manipulated information on Wikipedia about the Adani Group.

The combined value of Adani Group’s 10 companies — including Adani Ports, Adani Green Energy and Power — fell below the $100 billion mark earlier this week.

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