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Forbes finds India's rich outstrip China's

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Our Bureau

Chennai, Dec. 16

FOR all the hype and hoopla over China as an economic powerhouse, India's richest 40 are collectively worth a whopping $106 billion, four times more than China's richest 40 having a collective worth of only $26 billion, points out Forbes' latest tally of richest Asians.

Steel tycoon Mr Lakshmi Mittal continues to be the richest Indian with a net worth of $20 billion, followed by Wipro's Mr Azim Premji with $11 billion. The Ambani brothers follow in the third and fourth slots with Mr Mukesh Ambani worth $7 billion and Mr Anil lagging behind at $5.5 billion.

The Forbes survey report says that seven newcomers have joined the list of 40 richest Indians; Mr Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways (16), Mr Anurag Dikshit (10) and Mr Vikrant Bhargava (30) of PartyGaming; and Mr Tulsi Tanti (8) of Suzlon Energy, the latest sizzler in the Indian equity market.

Only two women are included in the wealth list; Ms Indu Jain, "the matriach" of Bennet Coleman, at No 17 with $1.7 billion; and Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon at the 34th slot with $0.71 billion.

Compared to only one from Wipro, three from Infosys are featured in the Forbes' list Mr N.R. Narayana Murthy ($1.05 billion), Mr Nandan Nilekani ($0.74 billion), and Mr S. Gopalakrishnan ($0.7 billion)

Interestingly the three who were dropped from the list this year are Dr Reddy's Labs' Dr Anji Reddy, Zydus Cadila's Mr Pankaj Patel and Lupin's Mr Desh Bandhu Gupta, because "their stocks underperformed India's red-hot stock market."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 17, 2005)
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