Evergrande surge lifts boss to top of rich list

Top News | Janice Huang Nov 17, 2017
Hui Ka-yan, chairman of property developer China Evergrande Group, has topped the list of China's richest for the first time with a net worth of US$42.5 billion (HK$331.5 billion).

Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, who used to be the richest man in the country, dropped to fourth this year, a ranking by Forbes magazine shows.

Hui, 58, saw his net worth triple from the previous year, mainly due to the extraordinary rise in his property firm's stock price. It jumped an amazing 469 percent in the past year, adding US$32 billion to Hui's fortune.

China Evergrande's first-half net profit showed a nine-fold jump, from 2.02 billion yuan (HK$2.38 billion) a year before to 18.83 billion yuan this year.

Wang was even left out of the top three this year, ranking fourth with a net worth of US$25.2 billion, representing a fall of US$8 billion.

The change was mainly due to Dalian Wanda's restructuring on asset sales and his US movie chain AMC recording a lower value.

Second position was taken by the chairman of internet giant Tencent Holdings, Pony Ma Huateng, whose fortune surged 59 percent to US$39 billion.

China's largest social network operator posted a 66 percent rise in net profit for the first nine months this year on Wednesday, partly backed by the success of games and a fast-expanding advertising business. The share price of its online reading platform China Literature nearly doubled on debut early this month.

Third is Jack Ma Yun, boss of e-commerce giant Alibaba, with a net worth of US$38.6 billion. He was the second-richest person last year.

Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Group, is another man who surprised. He ranked No 10 this year. His worth soared 217 percent to US$16.5 billion, driven by his automobiles business.

Zhang Yiming, 33, chief executive of Beijing ByteDance Technology, was added to the list, debuting at No 60. He is the youngest among the richest.

The others in the top 10 are SF Express's chairman Wang Wei (No 5); the majority owner of Country Garden Holdings Yang Huiyan (6); Midea Group co-founder He Xiangjian (7); Baidu chief executive Robin Li (8); and Netease founder and chief executive William Ding (9).

The China Rich List consists of 400 persons and families.

Hong Kong's Kwok family ranked No 3 in the 2017 Forbes list of Asia's Richest Families, with a net worth of US$40.4 billion.

The real-estate family controls Sun Hung Kai Properties, which had US$6.7 billion in sales for the year ended June 30.

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