China's richest builder loses wealth while top 10 billionaire developers boost combined worth: Hurun Report

By Pearl Liu / SCMP | November 26, 2019 3:00 PM SGT
Hui Ka-yan, boss of Evergrande, saw his net worth shrink by 45 billion yuan, or 21 per cent, to 170 billion yuan. Photo: David Wong
Hui Ka-yan, boss of Evergrande, saw his net worth shrink by 45 billion yuan, or 21 per cent, to 170 billion yuan. Photo: David Wong
China's richest builder Hui Ka-yan, the boss of Evergrande, suffered the biggest setback among the nation's top 10 property moguls after policymakers tightened the screw on the industry to curb speculations. Second-ranked Yang Huiyan retained her position as richest woman in the latest Hurun Report.
Hui's net worth shrank by 45 billion yuan (US$6.37 billion), or 21 per cent, to 170 billion yuan on August 15 from a year ago, according to the Hurun Property Rich List 2019 released on Wednesday. Hui, also known by his Chinese name of Xu Jiayin, has seen his fortunes eroded over the past two years as Evergrande took a beating on the stock market amid a financing squeeze on developers.
Shares of Evergrande, China's third-largest home builder by sales, tumbled by 22 per cent this year through October 30, according to Bloomberg data, while an index tracking property stocks within the Hang Seng Index rose 3.1 per cent on average.
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Dalian Wanda, controlled by Wang Jianlin, wasn't spared either. His closely held property and entertainment group has stumbled in recent months after an aggressive expansion at home and abroad backfired, forcing it to trim assets to ease debt burden. Wang's personal worth fell by 8 per cent to 60 billion yuan over the coverage period, according to the Hurun Report. His ranking slipped three rungs to sixth.
Yang Huiyan retained her position as the richest woman in the latest Hurun Report. Photo: Forbes
Yang Huiyan retained her position as the richest woman in the latest Hurun Report. Photo: Forbes
The Communist Party's Politburo, the top decision-making body, warned in July against using property as a tool to stimulate the economy in the short-run even as growth was headed for its slowest on record. In addition, regulators in May banned direct financing to developers which have not secured necessary approvals to start construction. The restriction was later widened to include indirect financing through equity and bond markets.
Notwithstanding the duo's negative wealth effect, the nation's 10 richest moguls on the Hurun list still produced a combined gain in the 12-month period to August 15. Their combined wealth rose 8.3 per cent to 779.5 billion yuan from a year earlier.
Yang's fortune surged 19 per cent to 160 billion yuan. The daughter of Yeung Kwok-keung, founder of Country Garden, was appointed as co-chairperson of China's No 1 home builder in December. Wu yajun, founder and chairwoman of Longfor Group, climbed three levels to third spot on the Hurun list this year, with 70 billion yuan of worth.
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This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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