Yang Huiyan: Asia’s Richest Woman Lost More Than Half Her Wealth In China’s Real Estate Crisis

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CNN Business

Yang Huiyan, Asia’s richest woman, has seen her wealth fall to $11 billion from nearly $24 billion this year as China’s housing crisis intensifies, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The 41-year-old controls Country Garden Holdings, China’s biggest property developer by sales. His stake was largely transferred from his 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 grapples with falling home prices, weakening buyer demand and a default crisis that has gobbled up some of its biggest promoters since last year.

Although she lost more than half of her fortune, yang rest Asia’s richest woman, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Her plummeting net worth has narrowed the wealth gap between her and her fellow female billionaires in China, leaving Yang only about $100 million behind. being surpassed by Fan Hongwei in wealth. Fan chairs Hengli Petrochemical, a chemical fiber producer.

Blame that on China’s real estate quagmire.

Evergrande, China’s most indebted real estate company, defaulted on its US dollar bonds in December after months of liquidity problems. Since then, several other major developers, including Kaisa and Shimao Group, have also sought protection from creditors.

In recent weeks, the housing crisis has deepened as thousands of disgruntled buyers who have made down payments for unfinished homes have threatened to stop paying mortgages if construction is not completed on time.

Country Garden is also facing increasing liquidity stress. On Wednesday, the developer said it would sell shares at a nearly 13% discount to raise HK$2.83 billion ($361 million), from its closing price on Tuesday.

Part of the proceeds will be used to pay off the company’s offshore debt, he added.

« Mortgage boycotts are a dual threat to developers and the housing market, » Capital Economics analysts said in a report Wednesday.

They drew attention to the problem of cash-strapped developers unable to complete properties they have already sold, which is « holding back new buyers ». The boycotts have also made banks more cautious about issuing mortgages, which could further hurt real estate sales, they added.

In a report released earlier this week, S&P Global Ratings estimated that property sales in China could fall by a third this year due to mortgage strikes, because people think developers can’t complete pre-sold units on time – the most common way to sell homes in the country.

« Without sales, many more developers will collapse, which is both a financial and economic threat, » analysts at Capital Economics said.

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