Jan 01, 2021

Nongfu Spring owner unseats Ambani as Asia's richest person

Asia has a new richest person thanks to his vaccine-making firm and bottled water company.

Zhong Shanshan has seen his wealth surge $7bn (£5.1bn) this year, helping him leapfrog India's Mukesh Ambani and China's Jack Ma.

His is worth $77.8bn, making him the world's 11th richest person according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Nicknamed the "lone wolf" Mr Zhong's career has spanned journalism, mushroom farming and healthcare.

Mr Zhong took vaccine-maker Beijing Wantai Biological public in April listing its shares on the Chinese stock market.

Three months later he did the same thing with Nongfu Spring, his bottled water company, publicly listing it in Hong Kong.

At the time this propelled him above Alibaba's founder Jack Ma who had previously been China and Asia's richest person.

Since then Nongfu Spring has become one of Hong Kong's hottest listings and its shares have jumped 155% since their debut.

Beijing Wantai Biological's shares are up more than 2,000% and is among those developing a Covid-19 vaccine.

(BBC News)