India's richest man gifts wife jet on birthday

MUMBAI Fri Nov 2, 2007 6:44am EDT

Reliance Industries' Chairman Mukesh Ambani speaks during a foundation day lecture of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi August 21, 2007. India's richest man, Ambani, has bought his wife a luxury jet with entertainment cabins, a sky bar and fancy showers for her birthday, a newspaper said on Friday. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Reliance Industries' Chairman Mukesh Ambani speaks during a foundation day lecture of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi August 21, 2007. India's richest man, Ambani, has bought his wife a luxury jet with entertainment cabins, a sky bar and fancy showers for her birthday, a newspaper said on Friday.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has bought his wife a luxury jet with entertainment cabins, a sky bar and fancy showers for her birthday, a newspaper said on Friday.

Ambani, who owns the country's biggest private company, Reliance Industries Ltd, gifted the $60 million Airbus plane to wife Neeta on her 44th birthday on Thursday, the Mumbai Mirror newspaper said.

The jet is custom-fitted with an office and a cabin with game consoles, music systems, satellite television and wireless communication, the report said.

It also has a master bedroom, a bathroom with a range of showers and a bar with mood lighting.

The newspaper said Airbus sources had confirmed the sale and the jet had arrived at New Delhi's airport and would be brought to Mumbai soon.

A spokesman for Reliance, estimated to have a market capitalization of nearly $100 billion, told Reuters, "we are neither denying nor confirming the report".

With business interests ranging from oil to retail and biotechnology, Ambani is not known to shy away from conspicuous consumption.

He is building a $1-billion home in India's financial capital of Mumbai, considered to be one of the world's most expensive houses, local media reports have said.

The 27-storey home -- for a family of six -- with a helipad, health club and six floors for car parking and 600 staff, has awed India's rich.

But it has also drawn criticism as an edifice to vulgarity in a country where hundreds of millions live in crushing poverty.