Xu Jiayin Named China’s Richest Man

Evergrande Group Chairman Xu Jiayin named China's richest man.
Evergrande Group Chairman Xu Jiayin named China’s richest man.

Named the richest man in China on Thursday with a net worth of $43 billion, property tycoon Xu Jiayin is likened by some media to Donald Trump, having built his fortune on a real estate business that has blossomed under a mountain of debt.

The 59-year-old Xu’s China Evergrande Group has a market value of $47 billion, although its total debt stands at more than $100 billion, an issue that has prompted some wary investors to short the stock.

Evergrande, China’s second-most indebted company, has now pledged to cut its net debt ratio to around 70 percent by June 2020 from 240 percent and has raised $3.8 billion in new funds and exchanged $2.8 billion of existing debt this year.

Evergrande, whose shares have surged 480 percent this year, is now ranked as the country’s third-largest developer by sales.

Thanks to a boom in the value of Chinese property assets, Xu’s wealth has climbed by $30 billion in the past year to top the rich list compiled annually by the Hurun Report.

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