China’s Richest Man Loses $15 billion In One Hour

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Li Hejun, chairman of solar panel firm Hanergy, lost $15 billion on Wednesday when the stock plummeted 47% in Hong Kong trading — in about an hour. The company itself lost $18.6 billion in market value. CNN Money has more:

Trading in Hanergy shares was halted Wednesday morning, “pending release of an announcement containing inside information.” Li, who owns just over 80% of Hanergy, also failed to show up for the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, which started as the shares were plunging.

Li attended the opening of Hanergy’s clean energy exhibition in Beijing instead, a company spokesperson said. Now, one day later, the company still has yet to announce anything — adding to the confusion surrounding Hanergy’s mystery crash. Bespoke Investment, a New York research and wealth management firm, called “the Hanergy story a complete mess.”

And there was another mystery crash in Hong Kong on Thursday. Goldin Financial and Goldin Properties, owned by billionaire Pan Sutong, nosedived more than 40%. Both companies said they had no idea why their shares were plunging, and that they had no information to disclose to investors. Like Hanergy, the two companies had soared to astonishing highs over the past year.

Investors, regulators and analysts have questioned Hanergy’s rapid share rise, and how the company was turning a profit, for months. They’ve used the company as an example of the risk of investing in emerging markets.

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