The founder of Chinese property developer Evergrande — who was once Asia’s second-richest person — is no longer a billionaire – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

The founder of Chinese property developer Evergrande — who was once Asia’s second-richest person — is no longer a billionaire

China Evergrande founder Hui Ka Yan.

Bobby Yip/Reuters

China Evergrande founder’s fortune plunged to $979 million, from its peak of $42 billion in 2017.
The wealth plunge follows a tumble in Evergrande’s share price.
Once China’s second-largest property developer, Evergrande has been mired in a debt crisis since 2021.

Hui Ka Yan, the founder and chairman of embattled Chinese property developer Evergrande, was once Asia’s second-richest person worth $42 billion in 2017. But the tycoon has fallen far from his perch.

Hui — who is now under police surveillance — recently lost his billionaire status after his fortune plunged 98% from its peak amid a debt crisis, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index on Wednesday. 

Currently worth $979 million, Hui’s net worth followed a dive in the share price of Evergrande amid a real-estate sector meltdown in China. It’s unclear how much of Hui’s wealth is derived from his stake in Evergrande, but the 65-year-old holds a 60% stake in the company and is Evergrande’s largest shareholder. 

Hui’s wealth has also taken a big hit from the recent wild swings in the company’s share price on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Evergrande stock had resumed trading on the exchange in August following a 17-month suspension since March 2022. But the shares were suspended again on September 28 following news that Hui was under police watch. Stocks resumed trading again days later on October 3.

Hui’s fortune has been under pressure since Evergrande’s debt woes started nearly two years ago.

Once China’s second-largest developer, Evergrande has been mired in a liquidity crisis since 2021. It first defaulted on an offshore dollar bond in December of that year. The real-estate giant has also been weighed down by over $300 billion worth of debt at the end of 2022. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in the US in August.

The company was so debt-laden, that it sold a luxury yacht for $32 million earlier this year to raise money, Reuters reported, citing two unnamed sources.

Evergrande’s share price was up 0.4% at 24 Hong Kong cents, or 5.4 cents, at 10.05 a.m. Hong Kong time on Wednesday. The stock is down 85% so far this year.

Representatives for Evergrande did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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