If you think you’re having a bad day, here’s something that will cheer you up; yesterday, China’s richest businessman lost $14 billion USD in half an hour.
Li Hejun, the chairman of Hong Kong-listed Hanergy Thin Film Power – a maker of equipment for the solar power industry – saw a cool $14 billion wiped off the value of his controlling stake in the company in an end-of-day crash.
Hanergy has 15,000 employees, and branches around the globe. Li owns 80 per cent of it, and yesterday the company saw $18.6 billion wiped off its market value.
So, yeah, it wasn’t exactly a happy ‘hump day’ for him.
Previously, Hejun had become one of China’s wealthiest men on paper when the shares in his company nearly tripled in the first four months 2015, giving it a market cap of $40 billion at one stage. So, he was pretty much living’ the dream until the company’s shares fell over 42 per cent in the last half-hour of trading in Hong Kong yesterday, before it was suspended by the local market regulator.
The thing is, the initial boom wasn’t without its skepticism and suspicions that it may be exaggerating its financial power. When it comes to the company’s business practices, transparency is limited because most of its sales go to a single company –its parent, the privately held Hanergy Group.
Word is that the massive collapse was instigated by Hejun’s failure to show up to the company’s annual shareholder meeting, telling the company spokesman to relay the message that he had “something to do” instead.
The company has declined to comment since the crash and the shares are still suspended…