Global ambitions: His Reliance Industries, already India's most valuable company, recently bid $2 billion for 65% stake in troubled Canadian oil sands outfit Value Creation. Firm's $14.5 billion offer to buy bankrupt petrochemicals maker LyondellBasell was rejected
London's richest resident oversees ArcelorMittal, world's largest steel maker. Net profits fell 75% in 2009. Mittal took 12% pay cut but improved outlook pushed stock up one-third in past year. Looking to expand in his native India; wants to build steel mills in Jharkhad and Orissa but has not received government approval.
Betting on recovery, upped stakes in publicly traded conglomerates Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa. Through HW, Li is world's largest operator of container terminals, world's largest health and beauty retailer by number of outlets, a major supplier of electricity to Hong Kong and a real estate developer. Has a large holding in Canadian oil firm Husky Energy, which recently announced its third discovery in South China Sea.
$18. 5 billion
Lee's wealth rebounded, thanks in part to doubling of share price of Henderson Land Development, the property firm he founded and still heads. Active investor in China, has stakes in such outperfomers as PetroChina, China Shenhua Energy and China Life. Chairman of Hong Kong & China Gas, which distributes gas in more than 90 cities.
$17 billion Hong Kong
Family behind one of Hong Kong's most storied real estate firms has benefited from rebound in property prices. Eldest brother Walter, who stepped down from 18-year chairmanship of Sun Hung Kai Properties in May 2008 after disputing with his 2 younger siblings, Raymond and Thomas, dropped his lawsuit alleging improper dismissal; he is now a nonexecutive director.
Software czar chairs $5.5 billion (revenues) Wipro, country's third-largest software exporter. Reported jump in net profits in last 2 quarters, signaling a rebound for U.S.-dependent outsourcing giant.
Onetime rice and sugar trader heads multinational Kuok Group, with interests ranging from shipping to real estate to media. In 2007 merged extensive Malaysian, Indonesian palm oil interests with Singapore's Wilmar International, run by his nephew; now his most valuable holding.
Estranged brother of Asia's richest person, Mukesh Ambani, oversees Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, which has interests in telecom, infrastructure and entertainment. His Reliance Power plans to build 13 power plants for $25 billion by 2014. Infrastructure arm is investing $5 billion in new roads and metro systems to be completed by 2012. His entertainment unit has committed $825 million to Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios to co-produce films.
Brothers' $15 billion (revenues) Essar Group has weathered downturn and embarked on an expansion drive in all its businesses, including steel, oil and power. As part of global push, refiner Essar Oil bought 50% in Kenya Petroleum Refineries and is negotiating with Royal Dutch Shell to acquire 3 refineries with a total capacity of 25 million tons.
Nonexecutive chair of the O.P. Jindal Group, a steel and power conglomerate founded by her late husband, Om Prakash Jindal, in 1952. Took over as group head after he died in a helicopter crash in 2005. In his lifetime, patriarch had handed down operations to their 4 sons, Prithviraj, Sajjan, Ratan and Naveen, who today run their independent units.