Through inheriting her father’s wealth, Yang Huiyan became the wealthiest woman in Asia in 2007, according to Forbes magazine. Her title, however, is now barely held since China’s real estate industry has been hit hard by the cash crunch.
The vice chairman of giant property development Country Garden has suffered as her net worth plummeted 52%. Her total assets are $11.3 billion compared to $23.7 billion a year ago.
The crisis engulfing China’s property sector continues to worsen. According to Financial Times, Country Garden has not defaulted on its debt, and its leverage is lower than that of other Chinese developers grappling with high leverage levels. However, the Guangdong-based group also faces liquidity problems. On Wednesday, July 27, the company announced a heavily discounted $360 million capital raise, saying it would use the funds for “refinancing existing offshore indebtedness, general working capital, and future development purposes.”
The shares fell 15% the same day, wiping out $1.7 billion from the group’s market capitalization.
The $44 billion fund the Chinese regime issued to rescue the real estate market only kept stocks from falling for the last two days. The market turned bearish again on Wednesday, snapping a two-day winning streak.
According to The Guardian, the property sector accounts for 18-30% of the country’s GDP and is a crucial driver of growth in the world’s second-largest economy. However, S&P Global Ratings estimated that national property sales would likely drop by about 30% this year. On Tuesday, they calculated the suspended mortgage payments could affect $144 billion of such loans. They also warned of further defaults potentially entangling higher-rated entities.