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Indian billionaire Jhunjhunwala’s $4 bln-worth stock holdings in focus after death

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The death of Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala puts a spotlight on the nearly $4 billion worth of stocks held by the famed investor, whose trades were closely followed.

The man known as India’s Warren Buffett died of a reported cardiac arrest Sunday at the age of 62. The self-made trader invested in a wide swathe of established businesses and startups, and served on the boards of several Indian firms.

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“His portfolio consists of companies which have risen from being value investments to larger players,” said Kranthi Bathini, a strategist at Wealth Mills Securities Pvt. Jhunjhunwala wasn’t much involved in management of companies in which he owned strategic stakes, Bathini said, adding that “these stocks are unlikely to see any major impact since his investments will be looked after by his company.”

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Partner, Rare Enterprises, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Mumbai, India. (Reuters)
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Partner, Rare Enterprises, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Mumbai, India. (Reuters)

Jhunjhunwala was among the most influential market voices in Asia’s third-biggest economy, with an intense following among the nation’s growing horde of retail investors. His investing success earned him a cult-like following, with news of his trades occasionally sparking stocks to move by their daily limits.

The man also known as “Big Bull was a fierce backer of the India growth story. Jewellery retailer Titan Co. was one of the largest and most profitable investments for the veteran trader and his wife Rekha Jhunjhunwala, making up for more than a third of their portfolio,” according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Their other top holdings by market value include Star Health & Allied Insurance Co., footwear maker Metro Brands Ltd. and automaker Tata Motors Ltd. Jhunjhunwala held stakes of more than 10 percent in Star Health, IT firm Aptech Ltd. and videogame maker Nazara Technologies Ltd.

Shares of companies in which Jhunjhunwala held stakes were mixed in Tuesday trading as the market reopened after a holiday.

Titan rose about 1 percent and Star Health climbed as much as 2.5 percent, while Aptech fell more than 5 percent.

Jhunjhunwala’s estate, including shares and property, will be bequeathed to his wife and three children, newspaper Economic Times reported on Monday, citing an unnamed person aware of the matter. The billionaire had previously worked out the plan, according to the report.

“True to his nature and unerring eye for detail, he had planned and meticulously executed a smooth transition to sustain and enhance his legacy,” Rare Enterprises Pvt., Jhunjhunwala’s investment firm, said in a statement. Rare Enterprises didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and an emailed request for details.

Read more: Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala dies at age 62

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