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Billionaire Hui is Asia's second-richest on Evergrande rise

[PRINCETON] A US$9 billion surge in the past seven days has made Chinese property tycoon Hui Ka Yan Asia's second-richest person.

Mr Hui, chairman of China Evergrande Group, has added more wealth than any person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index this year, a 360.6 per cent rise that's added US$26.7 billion to his fortune. The 59-year-old Hui, who has a net worth of US$34.1 billion, surpassed India's Mukesh Ambani to become Asia's second-richest person as Evergrande shares jumped amid soaring property sales and the company's shift to a low-debt strategy.

Mr Hui's ascent follows a boom in the value of Chinese real estate assets that's added US$43.8 billion to the fortunes of the country's property tycoons this year, a collective gain of 85 per cent. Yang Huiyan, vice chairman and controlling shareholder of Country Garden Holdings Co, has added $8.2 billion since the start of the year while Sunac China Holdings Ltd Chairman Sun Hongbin, who is a US citizen, is up US$4.2 billion.

Technology billionaires in China have added US$48.9 billion to their wealth this year, which has helped give China's 40-richest people the fastest-growing fortunes on the planet.

Jack Ma, the 52-year-old founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Asia's richest person with US$44.9 billion, has added US$11.6 billion, a gain of 34.7 per cent. Tencent Holdings Ltd founder Ma Huateng, 45, has risen US$12 billion, a 57.7 per cent gain that's pushed his net worth to US$32.8 billion, Asia's fifth-largest.