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Hong Kong's super rich took a $20 bn beating in 2018: Forbes

AFP  |  Hong Kong 

China's slowdown, trade tensions, stock plunges and a softening of the world's least affordable property market helped wipe some $20 billion from the fortunes of Hong Kong's wealthiest last year, has reported.

The southern Chinese financial hub boasts entrenched income inequality with one of the highest concentrations of billionaires in the world.

But the ultra-wealthy had an uncharacteristically tough year in 2018 according to the latest list of the city's 50 richest tycoons published by late Wednesday. The group's combined wealth fell just over $20 billion to $286.75 billion in 2018, a marked contrast to the year before when they grew by a collective $60 billion to $307 billion.

Pollyanna Chu, one of the city's most prominent female entrepreneurs, witnessed the sharpest decline in personal fortune according to Forbes' estimates -- a 75 percent drop to $3.3 billion.

Her wealth via financial was especially vulnerable to the torrid trading on Hong Kong's stock market which plunged 9.4 percent last year.

lost $4.2 billion while casino share prices significantly dented the fortunes of and her younger brother from said the wealth of the city's tycoons were often intimately linked to stock market's fortunes. But he added there were other headwinds on the horizon.

"The slowing down (of China's) economy and also the trade war between and the US -- these two will remain key uncertainties if we talk about the economy and the stock market this year," he told AFP.

Trade tensions have already hit some of Hong Kong's wealthiest. and Lam Wai Ying, the husband and wife team behind Biel Crystal, the largest maker of screens, saw their net worth plunge some $6.4 billion, or 57 percent.

has seen sluggish sales recently, particularly in

Hong Kong's wealthiest man Li Ka-shing, who has dominated the list ever since it first came out in 2008, saw some $4 billion wiped off his wealth. But with $32 billion he still remains ahead of property magnate on $30 billion.

After a decade of near continual growth Hong Kong's overheated property market has begun to cool with prices falling by some 10 percent in the last four months and many analysts predicting further drops of trade tensions between and continue to buffet confidence.

One major winner from the last year was oyster sauce tycoon His wealth doubled to $17.1 billion making him the city's third richest tycoon.

compiles their estimates for personal wealth using information from the individuals, stock exchanges, analysts, private databases, government agencies and other sources.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 14 2019. 14:05 IST