By Bloomberg News
Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Wang Chuanfu, founder of battery and car maker BYD Co., jumped 102 places to top the annual Hurun Rich List of China’s wealthiest after an investment by Warren Buffett led to a fivefold surge in his company’s shares.
The businessman’s wealth jumped to $5.1 billion, exceeding Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Ltd. founder Zhang Yin’s $4.9 billion, according to an e-mailed statement from the Hurun Report today.
Wang’s worth leapt from $880 million last year after a unit of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in BYD. The company’s F3 has also become China’s bestselling car this year, as BYD pushes beyond its traditional focus on making rechargeable batteries for mobile phones.
Buffett’s company announced a year ago it would buy 225 million new shares in BYD for HK$8 apiece. The shares, which have surged 387 percent this year, fell 7.5 percent to HK$61.85 in Hong Kong trading today.
The company has a market value of HK$140.7 billion ($18.2 billion), according to Bloomberg data. Wang, 43, owns 28 percent, according to the Hurun Report statement.
The number of known U.S. dollar billionaires in China has grown to 130 from 101 in 2008, according to the report. There may be a similar number of billionaires not yet found, added Rupert Hoogewerf, founder and compiler of the Hurun Rich List.
The full list of China’s 1,000 richest will be released next month, the statement said.
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