It's not just the US stock market were euphoria is raging in 2018: Chinese shares continued their strong start to the year, with the MSCI China Index climbing 0.7% overnight, taking its advance this year to 6.3% and to the highest level in 10 years. Additionally, the Hang Seng Index rose 0.3% for its 10th straight gain and best run since October 2012, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose +0.2%. Finally, the Shanghai Composite Index rose +0.5%; its seventh day of gains and the longest streak since March 2016.
In short, China's stock market surge is back, baby, and nobody is happier than Yang Huiyan - the Vice Chairman of Country Garden Holdings, China’s largest developer by sales - where a share surge increased Huiyan's wealth by $2.1 billion in just the first four trading days of the year.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Yang, who is also the controlling shareholder of Country Garden, saw her fortune soar to $25.6 billion as of Jan. 5 to rank as the fifth-richest person in the nation. And that was before Country Garden’s shares rose another 7.4% on Monday in Hong Kong trading, taking its year-to-date-gain to 17%.
Some more details on China's richest, and youngest, woman:
The 36-year-old Yang is China’s richest woman and the nation’s youngest billionaire, according to the Bloomberg index. In 2005, her father transferred his controlling stake to her “due to his intention to train Yang Huiyan as the successor of his family’s interest” in the group, Country Garden said in its 2007 initial public offering prospectus.
Her father Yang Guoqiang, usually known by his Cantonese name Yeung Kwok Keung, co-founded Country Garden in 1992.
Country Garden has been one of the beneficiaries of a boom in China’s property market, which has led to buoyant earnings and soaring sales, especially for the nation’s largest developers. The company reported preliminary 2017 contracted sales of 550.8 billion yuan ($85 billion) on Friday, exceeding the 500 billion yuan target it provided in August.
And with speculation from none other than Citigroup that the PBOC is quietly injecting short-dated liquidity into the financial system, and thus goosing the market, we expect Ms. Yang to get even richer in the coming weeks.