As the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index plunged 32 percent from June 12 to July 8, media attention focused on the heavy losses sustained by mom-and-pop investors, many of whom are ill-prepared to handle their misfortune.
But the nation's billionaires took it on the chin too — to the tune of $195 billion during that period, writes Liyan Chen of Forbes
. To be sure, those losses have shrunk a bit as the Shanghai index rebounded 11 percent Thursday and Friday.
But as of Wednesday, Wang Jianlin
, China's richest man, saw $6.5 billion of his wealth disappear, dropping his net worth to $32.3 billion, Forbes reports. Of course that's still enough to make him the wealthiest man in Asia.
So who fared the worst? Copper and cable mogul Wang Wenyin, whose fortune dipped $7.3 billion, according to Forbes.
You're probably familiar with Jack Ma, chairman of Internet goliath Alibaba. He saw $3.7 billion go bye-bye, as the company's stock fell to its lowest level since its September IPO.
Elsewhere on the China stock front, while most experts initially scoffed at the Chinese government's effort to buoy share prices, they may be having a positive impact, given the market's surge Thursday and Friday. The government's steps included the creation of a $19.4 billion fund for the country's largest brokerage firms to purchase stocks.
"From a Western market perspective, what China is trying to do cuts against everything we know that will work," Tsuyoshi Jin Saito, managing director of the Observatory Group, an economic and political advisory firm based in Washington, told New York Times columnist James Stewart
“But they don’t see this the way we do. People in the Western democracies tolerate volatility. But the failure of equity markets in China could translate into social unrest, which is a horrifying prospect for the Chinese leadership.”
China's government can make a difference in the market if it's willing to spend enough experts say. “The Chinese government’s wealth is huge. They have incredibly deep pockets,” Robert Whitelaw, a finance professor at New York University, told Stewart.
© 2023 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.