The third richest man in the world behind Musk and Bezos is a college dropout whose fortune has surged $60 billion this year

While 499 other billionaires have struggled to add to their fortunes this year, the world’s third richest man has made a whopping $60 billion.

With a total net worth of $137 billion, Indian-born Gautam Adani’s extraordinary wealth gain in 2022 has far surpassed that of any other billionaire, many of whom have seen their fortunes drop this year, according to Bloomberg’s running tally.

And that’s as billions have evaporated for his wealthy colleagues this year. The world’s richest, Tesla TSLA,
-1.24%
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, has seen a loss of $18.9 billion this year to bring his fortune to $251 billion, while Amazon.com’s AMZN,
-1.78%
executive chairman Jeff Bezos and No. 2 on the wealthy list, has seen his fortune tumble $39 billion this year, to $153 billion.

Bloomberg reported that Adani, a college dropout, vaulted into the top three on Monday, the first time a person from Asia has made it that high into the rankings. That puts his billionaire status above that of the CEO of luxury goods giant LVMH MC,
-0.86%
Bernald Arnault, Microsoft MSFT,
-1.10%
co-founder Bill Gates, and Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO BRK.A,
-0.59%
Warren Buffett.

Adani is the founder of Indian multinational conglomerate, Adani Group, the country’s biggest port operator. The company’s other businesses include electric power generation and transmission, renewable energy, natural gas, infrastructure, airport operations and mining. Adani Solar, for example, has a goal of generating 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030.

TotalEnergies TTE,
-3.38%
entered a deal earlier this month to acquire a 25% stake in Adani New Industries, to produce and commercialize green hydrogen in the country. Its flagship entity, Adani Enterprises 512599,
+1.62%,
saw a 73% jump in consolidated net profit for the first quarter ended June, and a 225% surge in consolidated revenue. Shares have surged 86% so far this year, while India’s S&P BSE Sensex 1,
+2.70%
is up around 2.2%.

But the tycoon’s expansion spree has also raised concerns over debt in some corners. According to media reports, debt research group CreditSights last week described Adani’s empire as “deeply overleveraged” and at risk of sinking into a “massive debt trap,” owing to growth plans funded by debt.

Bloomberg recently pointed out that Adani Green Energy 541450,
+4.28%
has seen its debt-to-equity ratio surge to 2.021%, the second-highest in Asia behind China’s Datang Huayin Electric Power Co. 600744,
-1.65%.

MarketWatch has reached out to Adani Group for comment.

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