Friday 29 October 2010

A billion just ain't what it used to be....

Kind of related to the post immediately below, about the Hong Kong and ASX/Sing exchanges, there's the news that China minted 49 new US Dollar Billionaires this year: mostly because of huge IPO's all via Hong Kong -- accounting to so much now of the HKex turnover and size.
49!  That's 49 new ones!  In one year!! I wonder how many in total there are in Oz.  I could google, but I'm rather too lazy.  I feel sure we don't have 49 in total.....
It's no wonder we're feeling the influence: eg in the property markets in Hong Kong and Australia.  In Oz, not always pleasantly, as a mate here from Oz tells me that there's a lot of angst about the soaring price of property there, pushed by Chinese money (media reports seem to confirm that) -- often not even to live in or to let out, just to buy and hold.
That's a fair concern, I reckon, even as we've been recipients of the benefits, owning property in Hong Kong.  But what about the poor folk just coming into the market.
I read that the Australian government made changes to policy just last year, to make it easier for foreigners to buy property in Oz.  I wonder why?

49 new billionaires join ranks of super rich amid IPO frenzy

Wahaha chief tops wealth list with personal fortune of US$8b

The initial public offering bonanza and surging stock prices helped the mainland to produce 49 more billionaires this year, with Wahaha Group chairman Zong Qinghou crowned as China's richest man,  according toForbes magazine.

The number of billionaires on the mainland jumped to 128 from 79 last year. The 400 super rich that made the China rich list own a combined fortune of US$423.2 billion, up 34.6 per cent from last year.
"China is leading the world in initial public offerings this year, and the big increases in wealth and the number of billionaires on our list this year are closely linked to a large number of successful IPOs by the Chinese companies," said Russell Flannery, who compiles the list.
Li Li and Li Tan, a couple who founded Hepalink Pharmaceutical, are in the fifth place with a net worth of US$5.38 billion, after the company secured a share listing on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange's SME board.
The couple saw their wealth top US$7.5 billion in May when shares of Hepalink made a dazzling trading  debut before retreating.
The mainland is the world's largest IPO market this year as cash-hungry companies flooded the mainland stock exchanges to raise growth capital.
In the first nine months of this year, 257 IPOs were launched on the mainland and netted a total of 382.8 billion yuan (HK$444.1 billion).
Liang Wengen, chairman of heavy equipment maker Sany Group, climbed nine places to become the third-richest mainlander after listing Sany Heavy Equipment International Holdings in Hong Kong at the end of last year.
His net worth rose to US$5.9 billion, US$2.8 billion more than last year.
Zong, chairman of soft-drinks giant Wahaha and with a net worth of US$8 billion, unseated Wang Chuanfu, chairman of car and battery maker BYD, to top the rich list.
Wang's personal wealth shrank to US$4.25 billion from US$5.8 billion last year. He fell to 10th position on the new wealth list.
The fast-growing mainland economy created tremendous opportunities for entrepreneurs.
In 2000, only two mainland tycoons made the Forbes list and they each had a net worth of not much more than US$1 billion.
"The strong entrepreneurial spirit, buoyant stock and asset markets, China's sustained economic growth, as well as the appreciation of the renminbi, are going to produce an even bigger number of billionaires at a stunning pace in the years to come," said Zhou Jiangong, chief  editor of Forbes China.
Robin Li, founder and chief executive of Web search engine Baidu, is number two on the rich list after his assets jumped more than US$4 billion to US$7.2 billion. Baidu's shares skyrocketed 143 per cent over the past year as Google's mainland business faltered.
China now trails only the United States in terms of the number of billionaires. A mainland tycoon needs to own 420 million yuan of assets to make Forbes' top 400 China rich list.