Yang Huiyan, Asia`s wealthiest woman, has seen her wealth fall to $11 billion from nearly $24 billion this year as China`s property crisis escalates, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the media reported.
The 41-year-old controls Country Garden Holdings, China`s largest real estate developer by sales. Her stake was largely transferred from her father Yang Guoqiang, who founded the company in Foshan, Guangdong province, in 1992, CNN reported.
Country Garden`s stock has lost more than half its value this year, as the country`s real estate sector has struggled with falling home prices, weakening buyer demand, and a debt default crisis that has engulfed some of its largest developers since last year, CNN reported.
Despite losing more than half her fortune, Yang remains the richest woman in Asia, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The plunge in her net worth has narrowed the wealth gap between her and fellow female billionaires in China, making Yang only some $100 million away from being surpassed by Fan Hongwei in wealth. Fan chairs Hengli Petrochemical, a chemical fiber producer.
Evergrande, China`s most indebted property firm, defaulted on its US dollar bonds in December following months of liquidity issues. Since then, several other major developers, including Kaisa and Shimao Group, have also sought protection from creditors.
In recent weeks, the real estate crisis has escalated, as thousands of disgruntled home-buyers who had made down payments for unfinished homes threatened to stop paying mortgages if construction is not completed in time, CNN reported.
Country Garden is also facing growing liquidity stress. On Wednesday, the developer announced it would sell stocks at a nearly 13 per cent discount to raise HK$2.83 billion ($361 million), compared to its Tuesday`s closing price.