Vicki Zhao takes 4 billion yuan hit amid market woes

Vicki Zhao takes 4 billion yuan hit amid market woes
PHOTO: The New Paper

HONG KONG -The profit of Chinese actress Vicki Zhao from her investment in Hong Kong-listed Alibaba Pictures, a mainland company, has fallen massively from 5.4 billion yuan (S$1.2 billion) to 1.4 billion yuan in just three months, reported China's official Xinhua news agency.

It seems not even "China's Female Buffett" could escape the latest stock mayhem, said Xinhua, adding that the evaporation of Zhao's profit was due to recent wild gyrations in Hong Kong's share prices.

Those, in turn, were triggered by turbulence in the Shanghai share market, as many speculators have dealings in both cities through a stock link launched in April, it said.

Since June 12, China's Shanghai Composite has been falling and by yesterday, it had gone down 32 per cent.

Trailing the fall, Hong Kong equities yesterday plunged 5.84 per cent to a seven-month low, reported Agence France-Presse.

Turnover on the Hang Seng Index was a mammoth HK$235.97 billion (S$41 billion) yesterday as mainland investors, unnerved by the rout in Shanghai, moved to cash out after piling into the Hong Kong market in recent months.

It is this sustained bear run that slashed 4 billion yuan off Zhao's book profit with Alibaba Pictures, an entertainment company, said Xinhua.

As of yesterday, Alibaba Pictures had fallen to HK$1.60 per share from a high of HK$4.40 in April, according to the agency.

Zhao and her tycoon husband, Huang Youlong, bought a 9.2 per cent stake in Alibaba Pictures for 2.48 billion yuan at an average price of 1.3 yuan per share in December.

This proved to be a smart move, as the value of the stock more than doubled by April.

But the bust came all too soon, said Xinhua.

However, the net worth of the 39-year-old still comes up to US$46 million (S$62 million) from other earnings, according to Chinatopix, a digital news publication on China.

Many other actresses who also capitalised on the bull run early this year had their share of the bubble as well.

Fang Bingbing, who made a profit of 200 million yuan from her investment in Shenzhen-listed Talent Television Film, has since had 120 million yuan struck off her book, reported Xinhua.

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