The chairman of a Shanghai-based property developer lost more than a billion dollars on Monday, as fears over the potential collapse of Chinese real estate giant Evergrande sent shockwaves across Hong Kong’s trading floors.
Zhang Yuanlin, the boss of Sinic Holdings Group, saw his net worth drop from $1.3 billion on Monday morning to $250.7 million by the afternoon, according to Forbes, when his firm’s shares halted trading in Hong Kong today following an 87% slump in its share price.
Zhang was featured on Forbes’ Billionaires list of the world’s richest people this year and made his fortune in high-rise apartments – now highly vulnerable as the possible collapse of teetering property giant China Evergrande sparks panic.
Sinic saw a sudden sell-off and massive increase in trading volume on its shares in the hours prior to its suspension, which comes just weeks before it must pay a 9.5% $246 million bond due on October 18, according to Bloomberg.
A spokesperson for Sinic did not respond to AFP’s request for comment.
The firm is one of many seeing fortunes wiped over investor fears that Evergrande – one of China’s biggest developers – will default on upcoming interest payments this week as it wallows in debts of more than $300 billion.
With the property sector estimated to account for more than a quarter of China’s GDP, there are concerns of a spillover into the domestic and global economy.
The crisis has even triggered rare protests outside the company’s offices by investors and suppliers demanding their money – some of whom claim they are owed as much as $1 million.
Another Chinese billionaire to suffer in 2021 is Colin Huang, the founder of Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo, who has lost more wealth this year than anyone else in the world, according to Bloomberg News.
Huang’s fortune has dropped by more than $27 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after the company’s stock plunged as China cracked down on its internet giants.
That’s the biggest decline among the 500 members of the index, much larger than Zhang and even the roughly $16 billion lost by China Evergrande Group Chairman Hui Ka Yan, whose real estate empire is struggling under a pile of debt.
- AFP and Sean O’Meara