Mukesh Ambani joins Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk in world’s exclusive $100 billion club

Agencies
October 9, 2021

Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest person, joined Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk in the world’s most exclusive wealth club with a fortune of at least $100 billion.

The chairman of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. entered the rarefied group of 11 men as his conglomerate’s stock climbed to a record on Friday. He’s now worth $100.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after his wealth increased by $23.8 billion this year.

Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of the Reliance Industries Ltd., right, and his wife Nita Ambani, left, arrive for the company's annual general meeting in Mumbai, India, on Monday, August 12, 2019. Saudi Aramco will buy a 20% stake in the oil-to-chemicals business of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd., including the 1.24 million barrels-a-day Jamnagar refining complex on the country’s west coast, Ambani said at the company’s annual general meeting in Mumbai.

Since inheriting the oil-refining and petrochemicals businesses of his late father’s empire in 2005, Ambani, 64, has been seeking to transform the energy giant into a retail, technology and e-commerce titan. His telecommunications unit, which started services in 2016, is now the dominant carrier in the Indian market. His retail and technology ventures raised about $27 billion last year, selling stakes to investors ranging from Facebook Inc. and Google to KKR & Co. and Silver Lake.

Ambani unveiled an ambitious push into green energy in June, with a planned investment of about $10 billion over three years. And last month, the mogul said his company would “aggressively” pursue production of cheaper green hydrogen. The plan aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitions of turning India into a global manufacturing hub for the cleaner fuel to combat climate change and slash energy imports by the world’s third-biggest oil consumer. 

While Ambani’s announcement has been viewed by some as an acknowledgment that his group needs to look beyond oil to cement its future, the fossil fuel still plays a central role at Reliance, accounting for almost 60% of its $73 billion in annual revenue. The oil-to-chemicals business is now a separate unit, and talks are under way to get Saudi Arabian Oil Co. as an investor.

“Mukesh Ambani is at the forefront of creating new businesses with new emerging technologies,” said Chakri Lokapriya, chief investment officer at TCG Asset Management Co. in Mumbai. “Creating businesses of scale at speed brings execution challenges, but he has demonstrated his capabilities.”

The story of Reliance dates back to the late 1960s when Dhirubhai Ambani, who started out as a gas-station attendant in Yemen, began building his polyester business into a vast empire. When he died of a stroke in 2002 without leaving a will, a succession feud erupted between his two sons, Mukesh and Anil, 62, which was eventually settled by the siblings’ mother, Kokilaben, in 2005. 

Under the truce agreement, Mukesh got control of the flagship oil refining and petrochemicals businesses, while his younger brother got newer areas such as power generation, financial services and telecommunications services. Anil -- once a billionaire -- told a London court last year that his net worth was “zero.”

India’s billionaires are some of the largest gainers on the world’s rich list, as Asia’s best-performing major stock market this year gets a boost from a surge in initial public offerings. 

Gautam Adani, founder of coal-power and renewable energy conglomerate Adani Group, has added $39.5 billion to his fortune this year, while the country’s third-richest person, technology tycoon Azim Premji, saw his wealth to grow by $12.8 billion.

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News Network
October 28,2021

New Delhi, Oct 28: India logged 16,156 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 3,42,31,809, while the active cases declined to 1,60,989, the lowest in 243 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

The death toll climbed to 4,56,386 with 733 fresh fatalities. 

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 34 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 123 consecutive days.

The active cases comprise 0.47 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.20 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the ministry said.

A decrease of 1,672 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.25 per cent. It has been less than 2 per cent for last 24 days. The weekly positivity rate was also recorded at 1.19 per cent. It has been below two per cent for the last 34 days, according to the ministry.

A total of 60,44,98,405 persons have been tested for the virus until October 27. 

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,36,14,434.

The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 104.04 crore.

India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23.

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News Network
October 22,2021

Mexico City, Oct 22: Two foreigners, including one from India, were killed and three wounded in a shooting at a restaurant in the Mexican Caribbean resort town of Tulum, authorities said on Thursday.

Authorities said one of the dead women was from Germany and the other from India. The three wounded included two Germans and a tourist from the Netherlands.

The shooting broke out on Wednesday night at a street-side eatery that has some outdoor tables, right off Tulum's main strip.

The fight was between two groups that operate street-level drug sales in the area, the Quintana Roo state prosecutor's office said in a statement. The tourists were apparently dining at the restaurant and may have been caught in the crossfire.

One woman died at the scene and the other in a hospital. One of the aggressors, who was also wounded, was subsequently arrested. There was no immediate word on the condition of the wounded tourists.

Tulum has experienced growing pains moving from laid-back beach retreat to major international destination. It had long been spared the violence seen sporadically in larger Cancun and Playa del Carmen farther up the coast.

But in June, two men were shot to death on the beach in Tulum and a third was wounded.

The administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has pinned its hopes on Tulum, where it has announced plans to build an international airport and a stop for the Maya train, which will run in a loop around the Yucatan peninsula.

But Quintana Roo state, where beach resorts like Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancun are located, has been plagued by both violence and corruption.

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News Network
October 25,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 25: Schools in Karnataka re-opened for students of classes 1 to 5 from Monday, strictly adhering to Covid-19 related precautions and guidelines. However, several private schools in the city and in different places across the state, have decided to reopen schools for these students only after Deepavali, official sources said.

Several schools had made special arrangements by decorating premises and classrooms to welcome students. "I'm happy to come back to school. I had missed meeting friends, as I could rarely come out of home and there was no school. All these days I used to see teachers teaching on mobile or laptop, now I can see directly," a student of class 4 said with joy.

A teacher said the school has made all the necessary arrangements by following the SOPs issued by the government, and felt happy welcoming children back. With Covid-19 cases declining, Karnataka government in consultation with Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on October 18 had decided to permit re-opening of schools for students of classes 1 to 5 from October 25, by strictly adhering to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and SOPs issued by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education.

Parental consent letter for physical classes is mandatory. The government has laid down certain rules such as screening for Covid-19 symptoms on entry, 50 per cent of the capacity in a classroom, provision of hand sanitizers, physical distancing of a minimum of one meter as practically feasible, no crowding, particularly at school entry and exit, and disinfecting classrooms and restrooms daily using 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite solution.

Only teachers and staff who have been vaccinated with two doses of Covid-19 vaccines would be allowed in classes 1 to 5, it had said, there shall be additional use of face shield by teachers who are over 50 years of age.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh recently said classes will be held for half a day during the first week and had asked parents to send children to school without any fear. The government had reopened schools for students of classes 6 to 8 from September 6 and for students of classes 9 to 12 from August 23.

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