A Chinese billionaire lost nearly half his fortune in less than an hour.
Li Hejun used to be known as the second-richest man in China, according to Forbes.
His personal value stood at over $30 billion as the chairman of Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd, a company that makes solar power equipment. At one point, Hanergy attained a market capitalization of $40 billion.
But having all the tea in China — or all the money in the world — couldn’t save him from making a huge mistake.
In the last 30 minutes of trading in Hong Kong on Wednesday, the company’s shares fell by over 40 percent, and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was forced to suspend trading. As a result, the value of Hejun’s controlling stake in the company dropped by $14 billion, TIME reports.
It isn’t clear what caused the shares to drop so wildly, but the reason could possibly be Hejun’s choice not to attend the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
(So, I won’t be missing a company meeting, like, ever…)
A company spokesperson reportedly claimed Li “had something to do” at the time.
Well, that something just cost him half his worth. I sure hope that it was worth it. Although, something tells me it probably wasn’t.
Analysts were wary of Hanergy’s finances due to the lack of transparency regarding sales and other business decisions. Significant overvaluation was therefore suspected when the company’s stock rose 500 percent in the past year.
The drop, however, came right after a fellow solar power company and longtime rival, Yingli, experienced a 37 percent decrease in shares on Tuesday.
Yingli previously expressed concern about debt and stated in its annual report there was “substantial doubt” it would be around for much longer.
Sorry, dude. Hopefully, that other $16 billion chilling in your account will suffice for now.