Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's wealth crossed the Rs 5 lakh crore ($70 billion) landmark on Wednesday after the country's most valuable firm Reliance Industries (RIL) headed closer to embrace Rs 10 lakh crore market capitalisation (m-cap). The shareholding wealth of Ambani and his family has increased by around 45 per cent over the last 15 weeks in line with surge in the share price of RIL and increase in promoter shareholding by 2.76 per cent to 50.05 per cent in the September quarter.
Over the last five years, the share price of his flagship firm has increased over 223 per cent to its high of Rs 1,581 a piece. The second most valued company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), witnessed a 77 per cent rise and the benchmark Sensex surged 58 per cent during the same period.
According to latest Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's net worth is valued at $112 billion. The wealth of Microsoft founder Bill Gates stands next at $111 billion. It is at $104 billion for French business magnate Bernard Arnault, followed by Berkshire Hathaway chief executive Warren Buffett ($86 billion) and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg ($76 billion). Ambani's net worth has been calculated at $60 billion, after deducting the proportionate share of debt.
The market capitalisation of RIL increased to Rs 10 lakh crore on Thursday, while that of the IT bellwether TCS was at Rs 7.82 lakh crore. The gap widened by Rs 2.18 lakh crore over the last three months, as RIL share price kept surging thanks to strong performance of its oil and telecom businesses, while TCS faced volatility in its financial services and retail verticals.
As far as Ambani's telecom venture Reliance Jio is concerned, it enjoys better earning margins compared to its rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. The rivals are losing customers, besides grappling with losses and debts. Jio's subscriber base zoomed to 355 million in three years. In August, it had 348 million users, compared to Vodafone Idea's 375 million and Airtel's 328 million. Jio's average revenue per user (ARPU) stood at Rs 120 in the second quarter of 2019-20, which is higher than Vodafone Idea and lower than Airtel.
Besides, RIL managed to arrest the fall in its gross refining margin (GRM) at Jamnagar refineries in the second quarter. It came as a relief for the company as GRMs had been falling for seven consecutive quarters.
HDFC Bank is the third most valued firm in the Indian stock market, with a market capitalisation of Rs 6.97 lakh crore. Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is next in line, valued at Rs 4.54 lakh crore.