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Indian billionaires Ambani, Adani set to attend G20 summit dinner

By Sarita Chaganti Singh and Shivangi Acharya

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's richest businessmen, led by rivals Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, will join G20 leaders at a dinner in the capital on Saturday, as the South Asian nation showcases its position as the world's fastest growing major economy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to wield leadership of the G20 grouping of the world's most powerful economies to promote India as a destination for trade and investment, particularly as China's economy slows.

U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are expected to be part of the gathering in New Delhi.

Among the 500 businessmen invited are Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, Bharti Airtel founder-chairman Sunil Mittal, in addition to Reliance Industries' Ambani and the Adani Group chairman, two sources said.

"This dinner ... will host various state heads and makes for an opportunity to gather India's Who's Who during the leaders' summit," said one Indian official who spoke about the closed-door event on condition of anonymity.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the weekend summit, however.

Saturday's dinner will afford Modi another opportunity to highlight business and investment opportunities in India.

To be held at a brand-new $300-million venue in the shape of a conch shell, the menu will feature Indian food with a special emphasis on millets, a grain the country has been promoting.

For years, Ambani and Adani have competed across a wide range of industries from telecoms to media, and energy to finance. Both have been ranked, by turns, Asia's richest person.

Adani's companies were in the spotlight this year following two reports by short seller Hindenburg Research and an investigative outlet that accused the company of using opaque funds to invest in its own stocks.

Adani Group has denied any wrongdoing.

Reliance Industries, Adani Enterprises, Tata Sons, Bharati Airtel, Aditya Birla Group and the Indian government did not reply to emails seeking comment on the invitation.

(Reporting by Sarita Chaganti Singh and Shivangi Acharya; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)