HK woman who was Asia's richest, loses half the fortune

Wednesday 03rd August 2022 06:42 EDT

Yang Huiyan is a majority shareholder in China’s biggest property developer Country Garden and she saw her net worth plunge by more than 52 per cent to £9.3bn from £19.5bn a year ago.
Yang inherited her wealth when her father Yang Guoqiangm, the founder of Country Garden, transferred his shares to her in 2005, according to state media.
She became Asia’s richest woman two years later after the developer’s initial public offering in Hong Kong.
But, Yang recently lost more than half her fortune in just one year after China's property market took a battering. Last year, for the 11th year running, Hong Kong was ranked the world’s least affordable housing market. The median price of a home is more than 20 times the annual median household income, four times the ratio at which a place becomes “severely unaffordable". Nearly eight per cent of people live below the poverty line.
While Country Garden is not desperately struggling it is a sign to investors of the way things are heading. The company announced that it planned to raise more than £282.7 mn through a share sale, for “refinancing existing offshore indebtedness, general working capital and future development purposes”.
Chinese authorities clamped down on excessive debt in the property sector in 2020, leaving even behemoth companies struggling to make payments and forcing them to renegotiate with creditors as they edged closer to bankruptcy. This has led to lagging construction and delayed delivery of properties, causing homeowners to withhold mortgage payments for homes sold before completion.

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