Asia’s richest woman, Yang Huiyan, lost more than half of her $24 billion wealth last year as China’s real estate crisis continued to escalate, buyers were less likely to buy homes and house prices continued to fall.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires IndexFollowing the 500 richest people in the world, Huiyan now has a total net worth of $11.3 billion, a plunge from $12.4 billion from 2021.
The fall also puts her neck and neck with fellow female Chinese billionaire Fan Hongwei, who is chairman of chemical fiber manufacturing company Hengli Petrochemical and was once miles behind Huiyan with a $11.2 billion worth. Now their gap is only $100 million.
In 2018, Huiyan was just below the richest Chinese man, Wang Jianlin of Wanda Group, with a fortune of $28 billion, which had skyrocketed after she earned $2.1 billion in the first four days of the new year.
More from NextShark: Malaysian mother sprays son with disinfectant at airport to prevent coronavirus
Huiyan inherited her immense wealth from her father, the founder of Country Garden, Yang Guoqiang, who founded the company in 1992.
The 41-year-old reportedly owns more than half of Country Garden Holdings, which her father transferred to her in 2005.
The country’s largest real estate developer by revenue has lost more than half its value this year and also succumbed to the debt crisis that has left the country’s largest developers desperate for help in repaying their creditors.
More from NextShark: Chinese students get homework app removed from 1-star rated store during school cancellation
The crisis was exacerbated by the thousands of frustrated homebuyers who threatened to stop paying mortgages on their unfinished homes due to construction delays.
Last week, buyers from over 100 cities got together and withheld payments from their unfinished homes.
Huiyan’s company shares fell nearly $2 billion on Wednesday alone after stating that the company wanted to raise $361 million by selling new shares at a 13 percent discount in a desperate bid to raise more money.
More from NextShark: Former hockey player blames ‘Dumb Ch*nks’ for being bored in quarantine
The real estate sector accounts for about 18-30 percent of China’s GDP, making it a critical part of the country’s economy.
Real estate sales are expected to fall by about a third this year; however, experts concluded that the drop was likely twice as bad.
Rating agency S&P released a statement Tuesday saying that the company “now expects national real estate sales” this year to fall “28-33 percent…almost double the decline from our previous forecast.”
More from NextShark: Asian Family Who Just Lost Dad Receives Racist, Threatening Letter After Funeral