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Alibaba’s Jack Ma is second richest Asian

MUMBAI: Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, has not only created history with the largest IPO ever at $25 billion but also made its founder and CEO, Jack Ma, the second richest man in Asia. The record for the largest IPO was held by Agriculture Bank of China, which raised $22.1 billion in 2010.

Ma (50) has overtaken Mukesh Ambani and Hong Kong's Lee Shau Kee to become China's richest and Asia's second wealthiest with a personal wealth of $26.5 billion. Ma trails HK's Li Ka-Shing among Asia's richest, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Jack Ma , a former English teacher, wants Alibaba to be bigger than Walmart in the coming years.

As per Friday's trade (entire detail's of Monday's trade were not available at the time of filing this report), Alibaba shares surged by 38% to $92.7 in New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), valuing the firm at over $231 billion. It thus raised the fortune of Ma to $26.5 billion.

RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, once Asia's richest and world's fifth richest (till 2008), has now been overtaken by the Chinese and the Hong Kong billionaires in Asia and has slipped to fourth position in Asia and 33rd in the global rankings. He retained the tag of Asia's wealthiest till 2012. However, Ambani saw his wealth falling to $23.2 billion in 2014 from a high of $43 billion in 2008.

Hong Kong's Li Ka-Shing with a personal fortune of $31.2 billion is Asia's wealthiest person and the only Asian to figure among the top 20 list of billionaires at 19th rank. Li controls Hutchison Whampoa, a conglomerate with interests in energy, port, retail, infrastructure and mobile networks.

On the other hand, Lee Shau Kee is the founder and the largest shareholder of Henderson Land Development, the real estate conglomerate that builds and manages properties in Hong Kong and China. Lee also holds a 36% stake in Hong Kong and China Gas.

Ambani is followed by Dilip Shanghvi, another Indian, in the top 5 list of Asian billionaires. Shanghvi (58), promoter of Sun Pharmaceuticals, is the second richest Indian. Shanghvi saw a 43% surge in his wealth after Sun Pharma acquired Japanese-owned Ranbaxy, making Sun the largest drug maker in India and fifth largest in the world.

Investment advisor S P Tulsian believes that the depreciation of the Indian currency from 45 levels to above 61 against the US dollar is one of the major reasons for the fall in Ambani's wealth. "Falling gas production is another factor in investors losing faith in RIL. Besides, the petrochemicals and refining segments have been stagnant while retail and telecommunications are yet to take off," said Tulsian.

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