Coronavirus: Stock market crashes wiped $21B off Mukesh Ambani's wealth
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani started the year as India's and Asia's richest man with a fortune of over $58 billion. Within three months, he's ceased being the latter, ceding the top position to Alibaba Founder Jack Ma.
Not only this, but Ambani's wealth has also been eroded by more than $21 billion since the start of 2020, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. At present, the RIL Chairman is worth $37.7 billion, and is ranked 19th in the global billionaires' list.
Most of the wealth erosion has been due to the stock market crash — a result of the coronavirus outbreak worldwide.
Reliance stocks have plummeted 39 percent since January, triggered by a massive sell off and a steep decline in crude prices in the wake of the novel coronavirus crisis.
Reliance also suffered because of a global oil war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, more so because the Indian firm was in talks with Saudi Aramco for a $15 billion deal.
RIL shares are currently trading below Rs 1,000 for the first time in two years.
Ambani, in fact, is one of the top five billionaire-losers since coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
Other big wealth losers include LVMH Founder Bernard Arnault ($45.3 billion), Inditex Chairman Amancio Ortega ($27.1 billion), Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett ($21.6 billion) and Microsoft Founder Bill Gates ($20.8 billion).
Overall, the world's 500 richest people have lost more than $200 billion in March, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
However, despite the erosion of wealth, Ambani-led Reliance Industries has announced a slew of measures to tackle the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in India.
This includes setting up of dedicated isolation facilities, increased production of masks for health workers, free broadband and mobile internet to ease remote working for users, free fuel for emergency vehicles that transport COVID-19 patients, double the salaries for Reliance employees, and much more.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)