Richest man in Asia Wang Jianlin loses S$18 billion in China crash

Billionaire Wang Jianlin at the World Economic Forum in 2013.
Billionaire Wang Jianlin at the World Economic Forum in 2013.BLOOMBERG

China's stock market crash has eroded the wealth of Asia's richest man, Mr Wang Jianlin, to the tune of US$13 billion (S$18 billion), according to a report.

Since Chinese stocks peaked in June, shares of his publicly traded companies have tumbled in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, eroding his personal wealth, says CNN.

He lost US$3.6 billion in just the past two trading sessions, it said - about a third of his total losses this summer.

Wanda Dalian Commercial Properties has plummeted 38 per cent since June 12, slashing nearly US$9 billion off the value of Mr Wang's stake; Wanda Cinema Line fell by 36 per cent, for a loss of US$4.2 billion; and Wanda Hotel Development shares plummeted by 49 per cent, wiping another US$60 million away, according to an analysis of stock exchange data and filings by CNNMoney.

Mr Wang had recently overtook Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing as Asia's richest man, according to a ranking released last week by the Hurun Report.

The report estimated Mr Wang was worth US$42.6 billion.

Even before the crash, Wanda Cinema was in hot water, said CNN, experiencing volatile price swings and a trading suspension for about two months.

The cinema and commercial property firms both debuted on the market in the past year, boosting Mr Wang's wealth.

Mr Wang spent 16 years as a soldier before achieving billionaire status by amassing an empire as founder of the Dalian Wanda Group, a conglomerate that operates in real estate and entertainment.

His ambitions run far and wide, and recent investments have focused heavily on the entertainment sector.

In 2013, he spent US$1.6 billion to buy British yacht maker Sunseeker, which has built vessels for James Bond films.

Prior to that, he acquired US movie chain AMC Cinemas for US$2.6 billion in 2012, said CNN.

Dalian Wanda is China's largest property owner with over 17 million sq m in its portfolio. The company operates shopping malls, luxury hotels and more.