India’s richest man loses $5.6 billion with plummeting rupee

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani poses as he arrives for the company’s annual general meeting in Mumbai on June 6, 2013. INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images

CALGARY HERALD

Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, is the biggest loser among the country’s billionaires as the rupee’s slump to record lows erased 24 per cent of his fortune.

The chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., operator of the world’s biggest oil refinery complex, has lost $5.6 billion of his wealth since May 1, as the rupee’s plunge accelerated. The 56-year-old is left with a net worth of $17.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Indian rupee is the worst-performing major currency in the world in the past month, coming under pressure as international investors sold emerging market assets amid concern the U.S. will pare its $85 billion monthly stimulus. The value of holdings by India’s billionaires are worth less in dollars as the rupee declined and foreign investors sold shares in large-cap companies, said Munesh Khanna, a senior partner at Grant Thornton LLP in Mumbai.

“There is irrationality; the rupee is weak and will go down further,” Khanna said.

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