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Chinese tycoons nearing US$50b in gains as stocks rally

[HONG KONG] Another day, another billion dollars. With Hong Kong stocks surging to a seven-year high, China's richest tycoons are approaching US$50 billion in gains this year.

Take this week's frenzy. Tencent Holdings Ltd increased 6.7 per cent since Tuesday, adding US$1.2 billion to Chairman Ma Huateng's net worth, valued at US$20.1 billion as of Thursday's market close in Hong Kong. Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, added about US$1.2 billion to his US$32.4 billion wealth, thanks to his Hong Kong-listed property unit, and closing in on China's richest man, Alibaba Group Holding Inc Chairman Jack Ma.

Billionaire Guo Guangchang's wealth also gained about US$850 million since Tuesday as his flagship investment company Fosun International Ltd rose 12 per cent.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 6.6 per cent in the past two days, as mainland investors flooded into the market using the cross-border bourse link. Data compiled by Bloomberg shows the top 17 Chinese billionaires gained a total of US$47.3 billion this year - and that's not even counting today's gains.

For a second straight day, Chinese investors used the entire daily quota to buy Hong Kong stocks through the link.

More mainland funds are buying Hong Kong stocks via the exchange link after Chinese authorities made the transfer easier last month. Before the rally this week, Hong Kong shares were trading at their most extreme discounts to mainland peers since 2011.

That's making Chinese billionaires richer, as most of them have companies listed in Hong Kong.