How Asia’s Richest Woman Lost Half of Her Fortune

Fortune dropped from BRL 123.6 billion to BRL 59 billion (Getty Images)
Fortune dropped from BRL 123.6 billion to BRL 59 billion

(Getty Images)

  • Asia’s richest woman lost half her fortune last year;

  • Yang Huiyan, the majority shareholder of Country Garden, has been hit by China’s housing crisis;

  • Yesterday, the company’s shares fell 15% on the Hong Kong market.

Asia’s richest woman, Yang Huiyan, lost more than half of her fortune (52%) last year after China’s housing crisis hit her business. The information was released this Thursday (27) by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

In 2020, Huiyan had US$ 23.7 billion (R$ 123.6 billion), an amount that dropped to US$ 11.3 billion (R$ 59 billion) in 2021. The businesswoman is a majority shareholder of Chinese real estate giant, Country Garden, and has no optimistic horizons ahead.

This Wednesday (27), the company’s shares fell 15% in the Hong Kong market, after the announcement that it would sell new shares to generate income. The situation worried investors, as the more than US$ 343 million (R$ 1.8 billion) raised would be used, in part, to cover debts.

According to analysts, China’s housing crisis is in a “vicious cycle”. In 2020, authorities enforced controls on over-indebtedness in the sector, leaving large companies to struggle to repay their debts, close to bankruptcy. The collapse of Evergrande, for example, scared the world economy by causing slumps in international markets. The company was even called the new Lehman Brothers, the American bank that caused the 2008 crisis when it went bankrupt. Although Country Garden avoided the biggest problems that hit the industry, it was not able to escape completely.

Huiyan inherited the fortune after his father and company founder Yang Guoqiang transferred the shares in 2005, according to state media. Two years later, she became the richest woman in Asia.


This week, Evergrande is expected to announce a debt restructuring plan that will not only determine its future but also indicate how Beijing plans to overcome a deepening crisis in the real estate sector, according to Reuters.

The giant’s offshore debt amounts to US$ 22.7 billion (R$ 118.4 billion), including loans and private bonds in default, and the crisis faced was also responsible for the default of several other smaller companies.

“We’re all waiting for Evergrande’s proposal to get a feel for the terms and it will set a benchmark,” said a senior executive at a developer that has swapped dollar bonds and is seeking advisers on a restructuring. “No company would want to be first because that would be tremendous pressure.”

Investors will also be aware of the role the government will play in the proposed restructuring.

About Yadunandan Singh

Born in 1992, Yadunandan approaches the world of video games thanks to two sacred monsters like Diablo and above all Sonic, strictly in the Sega Saturn version. Ranging between consoles and PCs, he is particularly fond of platform titles and RPGs, not disdaining all other genres and moving in the constant search for the perfect balance between narration and interactivity.

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