Asia's richest man Jack Ma sees net worth soar US$2.8b in a day

 Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma, attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan 18, 2017.
Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma, attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan 18, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Mr Jack Ma's net worth surged US$2.8 billion (S$3.87 billion) overnight as Alibaba Group Holding forecast sales growth that topped every analyst's estimate, despite China's decelerating economy.

Mr Ma, 52, is now the richest person in Asia and 14th wealthiest in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His net worth has climbed US$8.5 billion this year to US$41.8 billion.

The latest surge came after China's largest e-commerce company forecast 45 per cent to 49 per cent revenue growth in the year ending March, demonstrating how investments beyond online shopping are paying off. Shares in Alibaba, where Mr Ma is chairman, rose 13 per cent to a record high.

Alibaba and Tencent Holdings - which dominate online shopping and social media, respectively - have ventured deeper into new areas, from cloud computing services to streaming music and video, as the country's economy slows. Alibaba is capturing more digital advertising spending by incorporating social elements such as video in its shopping sites.

 

Alibaba is holding meetings with investors this week. Mr Ma is scheduled to appear on Friday (June 9) to discuss the company's initiatives.