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China's wealthiest would have felt a lot less rich after their billions got wiped off on the markets Monday. File picture of a brokerage house in Hangzhou. Image Credit: AP

Hong Kong: The spread of the coronavirus to China’s stock market on Monday erased more than $10 billion (Dh36 billion) from the collective networth of the richest 15 people whose companies trade on the mainland.

Midea Group founder He Xiangjian lost $1.8 billion, the most among that group, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as shares of the appliance manufacturer tumbled 8.9 per cent. He was followed by Zhang Fan, whose fortune dropped $1.2 billion after his Shenzhen Goodix Technology Co., a maker of biometric-authentication equipment for mobile phones, plunged 10 per cent, the downside limit for a single day.

Four others on the list also control companies whose shares slid by the daily maximum.

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Hao Hong, chief strategist of Bocom International, said no one should have been surprised by the selloff. “Chinese asset prices didn’t have a chance to reflect what was going on regarding the virus spread,” he said.