Asia's richest man Gautam Adani has overtaken Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to become the third richest person in the world, according to Forbes real-time billionaires list.
The Ahmedabad-based tycoon's net worth has skyrocketed over $60 billion this year to $148 billion, making him the biggest gainer year-to-date.
In comparison, the Amazon founder's net worth has dipped to $136.7 billion as of September 7, 2022.
Adani had earlier pipped Bill Gates on the world rich list after the Microsoft co-founder donated $20 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk leads the rich list with a net worth of $253 billion, followed by French business magnate Bernard Arnault whose net worth stood at $154.9 billion, according to Forbes.
The steep rise in Adani's net worth this year has already made him richer than Google co-founder Larry Page and billionaire investor Warren Buffet.
The Gujarat-based billionaire entered the centibillionaires club — businessmen having a fortune of $100 billion or more — in April.
Meanwhile, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani's net worth stands at $94 billion, making him the eighth riches person in the world, as per Forbes.
The combined market capitalisation of the Adani group this year has exceeded $200 billion. "Our rising market capitalisation has been supported by a robust and sustained growth in our cash flows," Adani said while addressing Adani Enterprises' annual shareholders' meeting.
The group's utility portfolio grew by 26% in FY22; transport and logistics by 19%; FMCG 34%; and Adani Enterprises, its incubator business by 45%.
Adani's rise on the world's rich list comes days after Fitch Group's subsidiary CreditSights said it remains "cautiously watchful" of the Adani group's growing expansion appetite, which is largely debt-funded.
Over the past few years, the Adani Group has pursued an aggressive expansion plan that has pressurised its credit metrics and cash flows, the rating agency said in its report titled "Adani Group: Deeply Overleveraged."
"The Adani Group is increasingly venturing into new and/or unrelated businesses, which are highly capital intensive and raises concerns regarding spreading execution oversight too thin," it warned.
The ports-to-power conglomerate has been investing aggressively across both existing and new businesses, predominantly funded with debt, resulting in elevated leverage and solvency ratios.
"This has understandably caused concerns about the group as a whole, and what implications it could have on the group companies that are bond issuers. In the worst-case scenario, overly ambitious debt-funded growth plans could eventually spiral into a massive debt trap, and possibly culminate into a distressed situation or default of one or more group companies," warned Creditsights.
The Adani group is also active in expanding through the inorganic route. The conglomerate acquired Holcim's controlling stake in Ambuja Cement and ACC for $10.5 billion, which made it the country's second largest cement maker overnight.
A majority of these businesses are capital intensive, and require large investments and constant funding in the initial years, considering these projects have long gestation periods, Creditsights pointed out.