Pan Sutong made $22 billion this year and then lost most of it. He says he doesn’t care.
The little-known electronics and property tycoon, who is based in Hong Kong, had jumped to number four on Bloomberg’s Asia wealth ranking last week as shares in his companies Goldin Financial Holdings Ltd. and Goldin Properties Holdings Ltd. surged more than 350 percent.
In that period, his wealth expanded faster than Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, whose net worth climbed by $8.2 billion, and Li Ka-shing, who was up $4.6 billion.
“I don’t know why, I didn’t buy any,” 52-year-old Pan said in an interview on May 12. “I know the market is buying, but I don’t know who specifically.”
Then on Wednesday, Li Hejun’s Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd. lost $19 billion in less than half an hour, spooking the market. In two days, the Goldin twins have lost about $21 billion combined. Welcome to the world of Chinese share trading.
“It’s as unpredictable as a casino,” said Nigel Davis, principal lecturer in the University of Hong Kong’s law department. “There is not much correlation between fundamentals and share price, it’s pretty much gambling.”
An enquiry by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission in March into Goldin Financial revealed that, apart from Pan’s 70.29 percent stake, another 19 unnamed shareholders held 28.29 percent of the company. Pan says he has no idea who they are.
“We carry out our business as usual, just like the way we have been doing, when our stock price is high and when it is low,” Pan said in an e-mailed response after today’s stock decline.
$34 Million Revenue
Goldin Financial’s revenue in the six months ending December was $34 million and more than 99 percent of its $181 million profit came from marking up the value of a 27-story office building in Hong Kong that’s still under construction.