‘Asia’s wealthiest woman’ loses half her fortune in Chinese housing crisis

The wealthiest woman in Asia has lost more than half of her fortune over the past year, while China's real estate sector was shaken by a lack of liquidity, a billionaire index showed on Thursday.

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Yang Huiyan, the majority owner of the Chinese real estate giant Country Garden, saw her net worth decline by over 52 percent to $11.3 billion from $23.7 billion a year ago, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Yang’s fortune was hit hard on Wednesday when Hong Kong-traded Gar-den equities fell 15% following the company’s announcement that it would sell new shares to raise liquidity.

Yang inherited her wealth when her father—the founder of Country Garden, Yang Guoqiang—transferred her shares to her in 2005, according to state media reports.

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She became the most affluent woman in Asia two years later after the developer’s first public offering in Hong Kong.

But it barely clings to that title, with chemical fiber mogul Fan Hongwei in second place with a net worth of 11.2 billion dollars on Thursday.

Chinese officials tackled excessive debt in the housing sector in 2020, letting big players like Evergrande and Sunac struggle to make payments and forcing them to renegotiate with creditors while they were about to go bankrupt.

Homebuyers across the country, furious with construction delays and delays in delivering their properties, began withholding mortgage payments for homes sold before completion.

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