14 February 2009

L Mittal, M Ambani among Most Powerful Billionaires

L Mittal, M Ambani among 'Most Powerful Billionaires'

Steel Czar Lakshimi Mittal figures in Forbes list of billionaires

WASHINGTON: India-born steel czar Lakshimi Mittal and head of India's largest company Mukesh Ambani figure among Forbes list of "World's Most Powerful Billionaires" who wield a staggering authority and influence far beyond their riches.

Ranking third on the global list compiled by US business magazine is Lakshimi Mittal who "controls 10 percent of the world's steel production through his company ArcelorMittal" despite his fortune falling $24.5 billion between March and November 2008.

"Born in India but lives in London, where his political clout often incites controversy," it said noting "In 2002, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair reportedly wrote a letter to the Romanian prime minister hinting a sale of the country's steel company to Mittal would facilitate its entrance into the European Union."

Mukesh Ambani, figures seventh on Forbes list of billionaires

Figuring seventh on the list is Mukesh Ambani, who heads "petrochemicals giant Reliance Industries, Indian's largest company by market cap." Forbes noted he produces oil, gas, petrochemicals and textiles and is personally funding construction of a 27-story home in Mumbai that could cost $2 billion.

Giving the rationale behind the list, Forbes noted last March, there were 1,125 billionaires in the world, each wielding tremendous wealth and weight over the markets and industries in which they operate.

"But few plutocrats possess the money, economic dominance and political clout to touch-or the potential to touch-all of us," it said compiling its list with a formula based on the size and scope of the industries billionaires control, the political influence they exert and the fortunes they hold.



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