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Mukesh Ambani now among 10 richest people in world

Mukesh Ambani, shown at Reliance Industries' annual meeting on Aug. 12, 2019, was listed in the top 10 of the Bloomberg Billionaire Index for the first time Monday. Photo by Divyakant Solanki/EPA-EFE
Mukesh Ambani, shown at Reliance Industries' annual meeting on Aug. 12, 2019, was listed in the top 10 of the Bloomberg Billionaire Index for the first time Monday. Photo by Divyakant Solanki/EPA-EFE

June 22 (UPI) -- Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani is among the 10 richest people in the world, according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index released Monday.

Ambani, who owns 42 percent of the conglomerate based in India, saw his worth increase to $64.5 billion, boosted by investments into the company's unit Jio Platforms. The unit helped make Reliance net-debt free, well ahead of its March 2021 target date.

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The rise comes as other sectors of India's economy have suffered greatly during coronavirus restrictions around the world.

"Mr. Ambani's companies have prospered, and his personal wealth has increased substantially," said Jayati Ghosh, chair of the Center for Economic Studies and Planning at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Ambani cracked the top 10 by passing Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. and France's Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the world's richest woman, landing at No. 9 on the list.

Reliance cleared $21 billion in debt by selling stakes in Jio Platforms. The Internet venture told stakes to 10 investors, including $5.7 billion from Facebook.

"The combined capital raised has no precedence globally in such a short time," Reliance said in a statement last week. "Both of these are also unprecedented in Indian corporate history and have set new benchmarks. This is even more remarkable that this was achieved amidst a global lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic."

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