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With $208 Billion Between Them, Asia’s Richest Men Face Off

  • The Indian tycoons businesses are increasingly overlapping
  • Adani appears to be eyeing off Ambani-dominated telecom sector
Gautam Adani, right, and Mukesh Ambani.

Gautam Adani, right, and Mukesh Ambani.

Photographers:  Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint/ Getty Images; Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

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In June, Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani and his aides ran into an unexpected dilemma when debating where to train the dealmaking lens of his empire next.

Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. was contemplating buying a foreign telecommunications giant, when word reached them that Gautam Adani -- who had overtaken Ambani as Asia’s richest man a few months earlier -- was planning to bid in the first big sale of 5G airwaves in India, according to people familiar with the matter.