Wang Jianlin Surpasses Li Ka-shing as Asia’s Richest Man
Besides Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties, Wang Jianlin also holds a 60.71% stake in A-share listed Wanda Cinema Line (002739.SZ) through Wanda Investment Co., Ltd, which had a market value of around RMB 57.2bn based on the market cap of Wanda Cinema Line on May 4.
Dalian Wanda Group Chairman and businessmanWangJianlin has surpassedHong KonginvestorLi Ka-shing as Asia’s richest man, thanks totherising listed A-share and H-share prices of Wanda Group in recent months.With a fortune ofUS$38.1bn,Wang therefore simultaneously overtook Li as the richest person inChina,according to data from the Bloomberg Chinese Rich List andAsia Rich Listas ofMay 1, 2015.
On that day, Wang Jianlin wasranked 11thrichest in the world,Alibaba Group founderJack Mawas 17th with wealth ofUS$35.1bn, andLi Ka-shingwas 19thwithUS$34.7bn.Wang’s ranking surpassed that of both Li and Ma inlate April. According to earlier released rich lists by Bloomberg and Forbes, Wang Jianlin had a fortune of onlyUS$24.2bn,showing thatthe sharp increase in the market cap of Wang’s three listed companies during this period has become a key driver of his soaring wealth.
OnMay 4, shares in Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties (3699.HK), aHong Kong-listed company of Wanda Group, soared toHK$68/share after opening, pushing its market cap to aboveHK$300bnfor the first time. Given thatWang and hisfamily hold 2.43 billion shares of Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties through Wanda Group, the market value of the shares of Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties held byhim and hisfamily alone already exceedsUS$20bn.
Besides Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties, Wang Jianlin also holds a 60.71% stake in A-share listed Wanda Cinema Line (002739.SZ) through Wanda Investment Co., Ltd,whichhad a market value of aroundRMB57.2bn based on the market cap of Wanda Cinema Line onMay 4.
In addition to the above two listed companies, Wang Jianlin also holds a 78% stake in AMC, a US-listed cinema operator with a market value of aboutRMB14.5bn, based on share prices onMay 4,bringing thevalue of Wang Jianlin’s stakes in the three listed companiestonearlyRMB200bn orUS$32bn.
Notably, shares of both Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties and Wanda CinemaLinesurged in April, with the formerclimbing33% and thelatter 74%.
With respect to the two companies’ performance on the capital markets, some industry analysts believed it was mainly due to investors’ reassessment of their valuations. In particular, Wanda Group’s recently proposed strategy of its fourth restructuring, i.e. from «asset-heavy» to «asset-light», has helped ease the financial bottlenecks that have long inhibited Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties’ expansion speed. Investors will thus also re-evaluate Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties’ speed of asset expansion.
Additionally, with Wanda Group’s growing presence in culture, tourism, e-commerce and finance, Wanda Group will construct a closed ecosystem that consists of customer traffic, logistics, capital flow and information flow based on offline consumption.
«With its massive commercial properties in the mainland, we believe Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties will benefit from the central government’s policy to boost domestic consumption. Given Wanda’s powerful brand influence inChina, its retail property will be favored by domestic and overseas retailers. We believe as its commercial properties mature, there is still room for Wanda to raise rents.» UBS analysts project in their research report that Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties has a target price ofHK$77.95/share, and they reiteratetheir«BUY» rating.