Mukesh Ambani richest Indian on Forbes list; Mittal biggest loser

NEW DELHI Thu Mar 8, 2012 8:05pm IST

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, smiles during a convocation ceremony at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), a school of petroleum management at Gandhinagar in Gujarat September 27, 2011. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, smiles during a convocation ceremony at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), a school of petroleum management at Gandhinagar in Gujarat September 27, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Mukesh Ambani retained the top spot among Indians on Forbes' annual list of the world's billionaires on Wednesday with a net worth of $22.3 billion.

The head of Reliance Industries, India's most valuable company, was placed 19th on a list headed by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim.

"Mukesh Ambani is the world's richest Indian, despite losing $4.7bn in the past year," Forbes said.

Lakshmi Mittal was listed as the biggest loser, with Forbes saying Mittal lost $10.4 billion, falling to a net worth of $20.7 billion and out of the world's top 10 for the first time since 2004. Mittal was placed 21st on the list. The drop came after shares in his company ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, fell due to surging costs and soft demand in Europe.

Billionaire brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia, who control Essar Group, suffered the second largest loss this year, losing $8.8 billion on the year and placed 133 on the list with a net worth of $7 billion.

Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro, was ranked 41 with a net worth of $15.9 billion. Savitri Jindal, head of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, was India's richest woman, 80th on the list with a net worth of $10.9 billion.

Sunil Mittal (113), Kumar Birla (116), Anil Ambani (118) and Dilip Shanghvi (124) were among the 48 Indians on the Forbes list.

Carlos Slim retained his position atop the list with an estimated worth of $69 billion, while his Mexican rival Ricardo Salinas Pliego enjoyed the largest increase in wealth.

Fifty-eight countries were represented on the list of a record 1,226 billionaires whose average fortune was $3.7 billion.

(Writing by Tony Tharakan)

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