Billionaire Gautam Adani has pipped French business magnate Bernard Arnault to become the third richest person in the world.

The Indian tycoon's net worth has soared $60.9 billion this year, making him the biggest gainer year-to-date, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Adani, who is also the richest man in Asia, overtook Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the fourth-richest person on the planet in July.

Fortunes of the Adani Group chairman stood at $137 billion as on August 30, 2022 compared with Bernard Arnault's $136 billion.

Total net worth of Bill Gates stood at $117 billion after the Microsoft co-founder donated $20 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last month.

Net worth of Jeff Bezos, the world's second richest person, stands at $153 billion while Tesla chief executive Elon Musk leads the rich list with a net worth of $251 billion.

Out of the top ten richest people in the world, only Adani has seen his net worth increase in 2022 so far. The sharp rise in Adani's fortunes this year has already made him richer than Google co-founder Larry Page and billionaire investor Warren Buffet.

The Gujarat-based business tycoon entered the centibillionaires club — businessmen having a fortune of $100 billion or more — in April.

Meanwhile, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani has dropped out of the top 10 richest people in the world. Net worth of Ambani stands at $91.9 billion, up $1.96 billion year-to-date.

Adani's ascension to the third spot comes days after Fitch Ratings' 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 Cements and ACC for $10.5 billion, thereby becoming the country's second largest cement maker virtually 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.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.