ChinaAsia’s richest woman loses half of her fortune
Asia’s richest woman has halved her wealth as a housing crisis in China has severely weakened the sector, a ranking of billionaires showed on Thursday.
The reclusive Chinese-born Yang Huiyan’s fortune was estimated at $23.7 billion last year but is now estimated at just $11.3 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Ranking. Ms. Yang is Country Garden’s majority shareholder. It’s one of the biggest developers in China, which had the industry’s highest revenue last year despite a housing crisis.
Weakened, some groups are struggling to survive, like promoter Evergrande, who is being strangled by an abysmal slate worth around $300 billion. Country Garden is in comparatively better financial shape, but the group is still looking to increase liquidity as payment deadlines approach.
The sale of new shares in the group on Wednesday to raise capital was therefore taken by the markets as a sign of vulnerability. On Wednesday, Country Garden’s shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange lost 15% of their value, further eroding Yang Huiyan’s personal wealth.
danger to the economy
According to official press, the 40-year-old has become a billionaire since she inherited shares from her father, the founder of Country Garden, in 2005. The housing reform in China (1998), which created a real real estate market, led to a meteoric boom in the sector, fueled by social norms, with the acquisition of property often being a requirement for marriage.
However, the massive indebtedness of the project sponsors has been perceived by the government in recent years as a major risk for the country’s economy and financial system. Therefore, since 2020, in order to reduce the sector’s indebtedness, Beijing has gradually tightened the conditions for access to credit for developers, which has dried up sources of financing for already indebted corporations.
A wave of insolvencies followed, including at the Evergrande Group. The former Chinese real estate number one is banking on its survival and is expected to unveil the beginnings of a restructuring plan in the coming days.