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[HONG KONG] Asia's richest person lost US$3.6 billion on Monday, the most among all billionaires worldwide, as China's stock markets had the biggest plunge since 2007 and a wave of selling spread across the globe.
Wang Jianlin saw US$2 billion wiped from his stake in Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after the Hong Kong-listed property developer tumbled 17 per cent to its lowest level since it went public in December. Mr Wang also lost nearly $1 billion from his Shenzhen-traded Wanda Cinema Line Co, which fell by the exchange-exposed limit of 10 perent on Monday. His fortune stood at US$31.2 billion after the decline.
A public relations official for Mr Wang declined to comment on the losses in an e-mail.
China's stocks tumbled on Monday after government stimulus failed to lift investors' confidence in the country's slowing economy. The rout also spread to other regions, seeing fortunes plummet worldwide. About US$124 billion was wiped off the collective fortunes of the world's 400 richest people as the global selloff pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 Index into its first correction in nearly four years.
"Everyone is probably overly pessimistic about the stock market now," Amy Lin, a Shanghai-based analyst at Capital Securities Corp, said in an interview. "There was a lot of panic selling in the market."
Twenty-four billionaires saw their wealth fall by more than US$1 billion on Monday. They included Bill Gates, whose wealth dropped US$3.2 billion, the most of anyone after Wang, and Inditex SA founder Amancio Ortega, whose wealth fell US$1.5 billion, the most of any European, according to data compiled by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Mexico's Carlos Slim lost US$1.6 billion as his fortune fell to its lowest level since the Index began in 2012.
Asian billionaires have been hit hardest after the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 8.5 per cent at the close on Monday to erase its gains for the year. Billionaires from Asia shed a fifth of their wealth in the past three months and US$54 billion since the start of trading on Friday.
Mainland Chinese billionaires lost more than US$14 billion on Monday collectively, or 6 per cent of their total net worth. Indian billionaires recorded falls equivalent to 6.6 per cent of their overall wealth.