Following the drastic fall in the share price of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Monday, Mukesh Ambani, the Managing Director, Chairman and largest shareholder of the company, lost his title of Asia's richest person.
According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, that measures the net worth of billionaires across the planet on a live basis, Jack Ma is back on top after over 2 years with $44.5 billion fortune, $2.6 billion more than Ambani's.
Ma is the co-founder and former executive chairman of China's Alibaba Group.
The mayhem in stock markets on Monday erased $5.6 billion of Ambani's net worth. Shares of RIL slipped for the fourth consecutive session on Monday with a significant drop of 12 percent after oil prices plunged nearly 30 percent.
There are concerns among investors that lower oil prices could add on to existing obstructions to the Indian oil-to-telecom conglomerate's proposed deal with Saudi Aramco that is critical to reducing its debt.
In August 2019, Ambani pledged to cut the Reliance group's net debt to zero from about $21 billion (as of last March), reassuring investors' worries of the company's liabilities. The Aramco deal had valued its oil-to-chemicals division at $75 billion including debt, however, there have been signs of a potential delay in the deal that is was scheduled to be completed this month.
A Bloomberg report citing sources said that in February, talks were still ongoing between the two parties to bridge their differences over the deal's structure.
Prime Minister Modi's administration has also petitioned a court to halt the proposed stake sale, further threatening the conglomerate's key source of funds to pare debt.
The fall in RIL's shares on Monday was its worst one-day loss in 12 years. Shares of Aramco fell below its IPO price for the first time ever on Monday and lost $320 billion in market value in the last two days.
On the other hand, despite the fall in Alibaba's businesses due to the coronavirus epidemic in China, its main market, there has been an increase in demand for its cloud computing services and mobile apps.
While RIL's shares have fallen 26 percent so far in 2020, Alibaba's American depository receipts have slipped 6.8 percent.