Indian Gautam Adani has been named the world’s third richest person with an estimated $137bn (£117bn) fortune and becomes the first Asian person to break into the top three of world’s wealthy.
His wealth has soared by $61bn so far this year.
Many of his businesses are involved in natural gas, coal mining and electricity generation, and are likely to have benefited from the global energy price increase.
Adani’s conglomerate owns India’s largest private sector seaport and airport operator as well as a huge coalmine in Queensland, Australia.
When six Indian airports were lined up for privatisation on 2018, Modi relaxed the rules to allow companies with no experience in running airports to bid for them. Adani’s company bought all six and became the country’s biggest airport operator. The Kerala state finance minister, Thomas Isaac, described it as an “act of brazen cronyism”. Adani’s wealth has risen from an estimated $8bn at the time of Modi’s election in 2014 to $137bn today, a rise of more than 1,600%.
Last week, Adani increased his influence by buying a 29% stake in television network New Delhi Television (NDTV), which is seen as one of few remaining independent TV channels in India.