Yang Huiyan, Asia’s former richest woman, is donating over half of her company to a charity founded by her sister amid China’s real estate crisis.
The donation: Yang, the current chair of property management firm Country Garden Services Holdings Company, is giving away 55% of her personal stake, which equals to about an $826 million payout, reported Bloomberg.
The move comes as the company suffers through a net loss due to “the decrease in gross profit margin for real estate business and the increase in provision of impairment for property projects under the impact of the downward trend in sales of the real estate industry,” the company noted in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday.
According to a statement from the company, the 41-year-old tycoon has already transferred around 675 million shares (20%) of the business to the Guoqiang Foundation Hong Kong “for charitable purposes.” The foundation, which has pledged not to sell the shares within the next 10 years, will use the donation for public welfare purposes.
Negative feedback: Some investors were reportedly unhappy with Yang’s decision.
“We view this announcement as negative,” UBS analysts said in a research report. “The timing of the donation seems unusual to us, due to the recent market discussion on the liquidity situation.”
About Yang: Yang reportedly became China’s richest woman at age 25 in April 2007 when the company raised $1.65 billion in a Hong Kong initial public offering. She became co-chairperson of the company alongside her father in 2018 before taking over as the sole chairperson in March 2023 after her father resigned.
Over the years, her wealth has reportedly decreased from $34 billion to $7 billion. With just a 16.12% stake in Country Garden Services after her donation, she will lose her title as the company’s largest shareholder. However, Yang will still hold the voting rights of the donation, allowing her effective control of over 36% of the shares.