Asia's Richest Woman Loses More Than 50% Of Wealth Due To China's Property Crisis
Yang Huiyan, Asia's wealthiest woman, has seen her wealth fall to $11 billion from nearly $24 billion this year as China's property crisis escalates, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Laura He reported for CNN Business.
Photo Insert: Despite losing more than half her fortune, Yang Huiyan remains the richest woman in Asia, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The 41-year-old controls Country Garden Holdings, China's largest real estate developer by sales. Her stake was largely transferred from her father Yang Guoqiang, who founded the company in Foshan, Guangdong province, in 1992.
Country Garden's stock has lost more than half its value this year, as the country's real estate sector has struggled with falling home prices, weakening buyer demand, and a debt default crisis that has engulfed some of its largest developers since last year. Country Garden is also facing growing liquidity stress.
On Wednesday, the developer announced it would sell stocks at a nearly 13% discount to raise HK$2.83 billion ($361 million), compared to its Tuesday's closing price. Some of the proceeds will be used to repay the company's offshore debt, it added.
Despite losing more than half her fortune, Yang remains the richest woman in Asia, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The plunge in her net worth has narrowed the wealth gap between her and fellow female billionaires in China, making Yang only some $100 million away from being surpassed by Fan Hongwei in wealth.
Fan chairs Hengli Petrochemical, a chemical fiber producer.
In a report earlier this week, S&P Global Ratings estimated China's property sales could drop by a third this year because of mortgage strikes, as people believe developers won't be able to complete presold units in time— the most common way they sell homes in the country.
"Without sales, many more developers will collapse, which is both a financial and an economic threat," said Capital Economics analysts.