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Mukesh Ambani becomes Asia’s richest man once again, overtakes China's Zhong Shanshan

06:28 PM Feb 27, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has once again become the richest person in Asia. He overtook China's Zhong Shanshan, whose bottled-water company tanked a record 20% this week.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Chinese tycoon is worth $76.6 billion, down more than $22 billion from a peak just last week. Ambani, on the other hand, has a net worth of about $80 billion.

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Despite a brutal week for markets, Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd. was relatively unscathed as it said it would spin off its oil-to-chemicals business into an independent unit, reported Bloomberg. "Ambani has focused on pivoting his empire to tech and e-commerce, moving away from energy. Last year, he sold stakes in Reliance’s digital and retail units worth $27 billion to investors including Google and Facebook Inc., lifting his fortune by $18 billion. The spin off announced this week of the oil-to-chemicals unit -- which accounted for more than 60% of the conglomerate’s revenue in the last fiscal year -- will help the tycoon bring in more investors and expedite a proposed stake sale to Saudi Arabian Oil Co," the report added.

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For the past two years, Mukesh Ambani was Asia's richest person. However, he was overtaken by Zhong Shanshan recently. Shanshan, also known as China's bottled-water king, was sixth-wealthiest person on Earth by early 2021. Two major factors behind the surge in Shanshan's wealth are the mega listings of his vaccine manufacturing company Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co in April followed by that of his bottled water company Nongfu on the stock markets.

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