China’s richest have lost billions of dollars as coronavirus weighs on stocks

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    China’s wealthiest entrepreneurs suffered tens of billions of dollars in losses in the share value of their companies in the past month as the coronavirus pandemic roiled financial markets worldwide and threatened to tip the global economy into a recession.

    As of Friday’s close in Hong Kong, seven of the 10 richest billionaires in China and their family trusts collectively lost nearly US$28 billion on paper as their companies’ shares have dropped sharply since February 19 – the day the S&P 500 hit an all-time high. The benchmark index itself fell 29 per cent in that time frame.

    Using the most recent regulatory disclosures of their shareholdings, the South China Morning Post examined how the market turmoil has affected the personal wealth of some of China’s richest people as the share prices of the companies they founded dropped. In some cases, those shares were held in family trusts for the benefit of the executive and their family members.

    As an example, Chinese tech giants Alibaba Group Holding, the parent company of this newspaper, and Tencent Holdings, the owner of WeChat, have seen their shares fall 19 per cent and 13 per cent respectively since mid-February. That sharp drop has cost Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Tencent founder Pony Ma Huateng – the two richest men in China according to Forbes – a combined US$12.4 billion.

    Source : South China Morning Post

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