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Wealth of China's richest shrinks by 9b yuan

By Yu Hongyan (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-05-12 17:08
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Shares of drugmaker Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co Ltd fell below its initial public offering price Tuesday, costing the company's founders billions of yuan, the National Business Daily reported today.

Wealth of China's richest shrinks by 9b yuan

Li Li, founder and chairman of Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co.

Shares of Hepalink closed at 144.25 yuan Tuesday, down 3.75 yuan from its issue price of 148 yuan, the highest on record for a Chinese stock.

Analysts say Hepalink's price fall is within their expectations, as its expensive IPO priced at 73 times its 2009 earnings, was too high for a drug material supplier.

Hepalink, the world's biggest maker of blood-thinning heparin products, on May 6 raised 5.9 billion yuan through issuing 40.1 million shares in the most expensive IPO. The price of Hepalink surged 18.36 percent to close at 175.17 yuan ($25.66) on that day.

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The high IPO price had made the company's founders, the low-profile couple Li Li and Li Tan, the wealthiest people in Chinese mainland overnight. Their stake is worth 72 percent of the company, or 288 million shares.

Based on the closing price on May 6, the value of the stake exceeded 50 billion yuan ($7.3 billion), surpassing Wang Chuanfu, chairman of electric car manufacturer BYD, China's richest person in 2009 with a fortune of $5.1 billion, according to the 2009 Hurun China Rich List.

But the price fall Tuesday shrank the couple's wealth to 41.5 billion yuan, down 9 billion yuan.