Shares of sprawling conglomerate Reliance Industries, which counts energy as its most important revenue generator, rose more than 3% Monday as recovering oil prices lifted energy stocks in India as one of the world’s top oil producers. The increase was particularly good for Reliance chair Mukesh Ambani which added around $2.8 billion wealth and allowing the 64-year-old to surpass the billionaire who owns the infrastructure Gautam Adani to reclaim the titlel to the title of the most successful person in India, and Asia.
As of Monday evening, Ambani is the world’s 10th richest person, worth approximately $89.7 billion according to the Forbes estimates, while Adani is worth about $87.8 billion-and ranked the world’s 11th richest.
Adding to the good news and a boost for Reliance, Reuters on Sunday said the company is set to acquire at around 200 stores from struggling supermarket chain Future Retail to expand its distribution as the nation’s largest retailer. This major victory follows an almost two-year dispute in which the company was battling Future shareholder Amazon over Reliance’s $3.4 billion deal to purchase significant portions of Future’s generally unprofitable business. Since late 2020, the giant of e-commerce has claimed that the deal is in violation of contractual terms tied to its investments, despite the fact that Future relies on the cash to pay back a debt that was not paid.
“The ongoing litigation initiated by Amazon in October 2020… has created serious impediments” and led to an “severe adverse impact” on the company, CP Toshniwal, the chief financial officer of Future, told India’s stock exchange in an note on Saturday that his company is “hopeful” the $3.4 billion deal with Reliance would be finalized before the deal expires September. Based on Reuters, Reliance will rebrand Future Retail. Future stores with around 1,500 locations under its flagship chain of supermarkets Big Bazaar. The shares of Future Retail jumped 6% on Monday.
The company was founded by Ambani’s late father Dhirubhai Ambani in 1966 as a small manufacturer of textiles, Reliance has since grown into the country’s largest business, generating revenue of $73.8 billion (539,238 crore Indian rupees) last year due to investments in petrochemicals, telecom, retail and oil. Ambani was the sole owner of the business of his family following his father’s death in 2002. His family and he hold a roughly 49% stake in the company.
Despite the massive increase in Ambani’s fortunes however, one billionaire was able to become even more richer on Monday. Tesla President Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, added $14.4 billion to his wealth Monday after shares of the electric-car company rose 7.5 percent. Following a massive 40% decline in Tesla shares earlier this year Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi sparked the market’s surge by telling investors that Tesla’s “unique growth profile” stood above the other high-valued tech stocks. Musk is now valued at $236.8 billion, nearly 60 billion higher than the world’s second richest man, Bernard Arnault.