Asia’s wealthiest woman Yang Huiyan has seen her wealth fall to $11 billion from nearly $24 billion this year, owing to China’s escalating property crisis. She has been replaced by India's Savitri Jindal as the richest woman in the continent.
Huiyan, 41, controls China’s largest real estate developer Country Garden Holdings. Her stake was largely transferred from her father Yang Guoqiang who founded the company in Foshan, Guangdong province in the 1990s.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Garden’s stock has lost more than half its value this year as the Chinese 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.
Huiyan once lost more than $1 billion in just one day, Forbes reported.
The plunge in her net worth, however, has narrowed the wealth gap between her and fellow female billionaires in China, making Yang only some $100 million away from being surpassed by 55-year-old Fan Hongwei in wealth, the report added. Hongwei chairs Hengli Petrochemical, a chemical fibre supplier.
Earlier, developers were previously thought to be rock solid, but the Guangdong-based company's shares fell 15 per cent after it announced it would sell new shares to raise cash.
The decision followed Chinese authorities clamping down on excessive debt in the property sector in 2020, leaving even behemoth firms struggling to make payments and forcing them to renegotiate with creditors as they inched closer to bankruptcy.
It then led to lagging construction and delayed delivery of properties, causing homeowners to withhold mortgage payments for homes sold before completion.
Country Garden Holdings is reeling under more than $300 billion of total liabilities, including about $19 billion in offshore bonds held by international asset managers and private banks on behalf of their clients.
The Chinese Government officials have been sent into the company to oversee a restructuring, CNN reported. But, there’s little clarity about what comes next as the company appealed for more time.(With inputs from ANI)