Asia's richest woman lost more than half her fortune in China's property crunch

In Hong Kong (CNN Business) According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Yang Huiyan, the richest woman in Asia, has seen her wealth decline to $11 billion from almost $24 billion this year as China's real estate crisis worsens.

The 41-year-old is in charge of Country Garden Holdings, the biggest sales-based developer of real estate in China. Her father Yang Guoqiang, who launched the business in Foshan, Guangdong province, in 1992, passed most of his ownership interest to her.

As the nation's real estate industry has faced with declining property prices, waning buyer demand, and a debt default crisis that has enveloped some of its top developers since last year, Country Garden's stock has lost more than half of its value this year.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Yang is still the wealthiest woman in Asia despite losing more than half of her money. Due to the sharp decline in her net worth, Yang is now just around $100 million behind Fan Hongwei in terms of fortune, who is a fellow female billionaire in China. Fan is a manufacturer of chemical fibers and chairs Hengli Petrochemical.

That is the result of China's property mess.

Following months of financial problems, Evergrande, China's most indebted real estate company, missed payments on its US dollar bonds in December. Since then, a number of other significant developers have also requested protection from creditors, including Kaisa and Shimao Group.

The housing problem has become worse recently as hundreds of irate homeowners who put down payments on incomplete houses threatened to quit making mortgage payments if construction wasn't finished on schedule.

A developing cash crisis is also affecting Country Garden. The developer stated on Wednesday that it will sell shares at a nearly 13% discount to the closing price on Tuesday in order to generate HK$2.83 billion ($361 million).

The company's offshore debt would be partially repaid with some of the earnings, it was noted.

The housing market and developers are both under threat from the mortgage boycotts, according to a research released on Wednesday by Capital Economics experts.

They have brought up the issue of cash-strapped developers failing to finish houses that they have previously sold, which is "deterring potential homebuyers." Banks are now becoming more selective when giving mortgages as a result of the boycotts, which might further dampen real estate sales, they warned.

S&P Global Ratings predicted earlier this week that due to mortgage strikes, China's real estate sales will decline by a third this year. This is because customers are worried that developers won't be able to finish presold apartments in time, which is how most homes are sold there.

According to researchers at Capital Economics, "many more developers will fail without sales, which is both a financial and an economic concern."