Aakar Patel in the News, Pakistan:
Indians invest in two things mainly: gold and property. India is the world’s largest buyer of gold, much of it being turned into heavy and ornate wedding jewellery; and most Indians (Gujaratis excluded) would rather invest in property than in equity.
The world’s richest man, Warren Buffett, lives in the same three-bedroom house in Nebraska he bought 51 years ago. That would never happen in India, because for us our status comes from the size of our residence.
The billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, Britain’s richest man, bought a house in London’s Kensington Palace Gardens for 70 million pounds (about 560 crore Indian rupees) in 2004, and it was then the most expensive residence in the world. It had 12 bedrooms and parking space for 20 cars, and was sold to him by the Formula One championships owner, Ecclestone.
In 2008, Mittal broke his own record and bought another house in the same neighbourhood for his son, and this cost 117 million pounds (Rs 936 crore). For his daughter, Mittal bought a house in Delhi that cost Rs100 crore ($ 22 million). None of this would have dented his wealth, estimated by Forbes magazine last week, even in these times of recession, to be $30 billion (Rs140 lakh crore). More: