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Forbes: woman, 26, mainland's richest
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The 26-year-old Yang Huiyan, daughter of a property developer, has topped this year's Forbes list of the richest people in

China with a net worth of US$16 billion.


Yang also becomes the richest woman in Asia, the magazine said in a statement on Monday.


Yang is one of the three daughters of Yang Guoqiang, a co-founder of the Country Garden Holdings Company Limited. She acquired her father's shareholding of the Guangdong-based property development firm in 2005.


The debut of the company on the Hong Kong stock market this year has made billionaires of Yang and four others, said the magazine.


Another developer, Hui Wing Mau, took second place for China's top rich with a net worth of US$7.3 billion. Guo Guangchang, chairman of a manufacturing, retailing and real estate company, ranked third. Last year's No 1, Wong Kwong Yu, fell nine places to No. 10 even though his wealth increased by 56 percent to US$3.6 billion from US$2.3 billion a year ago. In addition, last year's richest woman, Zhang Yin, founder of Nine Dragon Paper Co., fell from No. 5 to No. 11 on this year's list. Her net worth grew by 125 percent to US$3.4 billion.


Compared with only 15 billionaires in last year's 40 top rich, all 40 people on Forbes Asia's 2007 China Rich List are currently billionaires.


The 40 rich people have a combined net worth of US$120 billion, up three times from last year's US$38 billion, said a Forbes press release.


Yang is one of more than a dozen property developers to make this year's list of the 40 richest, reflecting roaring demand for homes and real estate investment, according to the magazine.


"Household incomes are rising rapidly, and a growing number of people are moving into cities from rural areas," said Russell Flannery, compiler of the China Rich List. "Those trends are creating great business opportunities for property developers in the country."


To compile this list, Forbes Asia looked at shareholdings in public companies as well as private companies. Publicly traded fortunes were calculated using recent share prices and exchange rates.


For private fortunes, Forbes estimated what companies and assets would be worth if public. Unlike the Forbes billionaires list, this ranking has been broadened to include some family fortunes, the release said.


(Xinhua News Agency October 9, 2007)

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