Billionaire club members among biggest losers
Asia’s richest person lost $3.6 billion on Monday, the most among all billionaires worldwide, as China’s stock markets had the biggest plunge since 2007 and a wave of selling spread across the globe.
Wang Jianlin saw $2 billion wiped from his stake in Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co., according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after it tumbled 17 percent to its lowest level since it went public in December. Wang also lost nearly $1 billion from his Shenzhen-traded Wanda Cinema Line Co., which fell by the exchange-exposed limit of 10 percent on Monday. The remaining losses stemmed from stakes in private companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
China’s stocks tumbled on Monday after government stimulus failed to lift investors’ confidence in the country’s slowing economy. The rout also spread to other regions, seeing fortunes plummet worldwide. About $124 billion was wiped off the collective fortunes of the world’s 400 richest people as the global selloff pushed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index into its first correction in nearly four years. China stocks plunged again on Tuesday, spelling more losses for Asia’s richest.
“Everyone is probably overly pessimistic about the stock market now,” Amy Lin, a Shanghai-based analyst at Capital Securities Corp., said in an interview. “There was a lot of panic selling in the market.”
Even after Monday’s decline, Wang’s fortune stood at $31.2 billion, according to data compiled by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. A public relations official for Wang declined to comment on the losses in an e-mail.
Twenty-four billionaires saw their wealth fall by more than $1 billion on Monday. They included Bill Gates, whose wealth dropped $3.2 billion, the most of anyone after Wang, and Inditex SA founder Amancio Ortega, whose wealth fell $1.5 billion, the most of any European, the data show. Mexico’s Carlos Slim lost $1.6 billion as his fortune fell to its lowest level since the Index began in 2012.
Asian billionaires shed a fifth of their wealth in the past three months and $54 billion since the start of trading on Friday.
Mainland Chinese billionaires lost more than $14 billion on Monday collectively, or 6 percent of their total net worth. Indian billionaires recorded falls equivalent to 6.6 percent of their overall wealth. India’s second-richest person, Mukesh Ambani, lost $1.8 billion, or 9.2 percent of his net worth.
Japan, however, was a safe haven for billionaires amid the turmoil as the country’s currency strengthened amid the stock rout. The yen climbed to a six-week high against dollar on Monday, the biggest gainer among 15 major currencies.
The fortune of Japan’s richest person Tadashi Yanai edged up by almost $106 million to $21.8 billion on Monday, even as shares of his clothing retailer, Fast Retailing, declined.
The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 8.5 percent at the close on Monday to erase its gains for the year and dropped another 7.6 percent on Tuesday.