Hui Ka Yan has had an impressive time as Asia's wealthiest person where his fortune went upwards to an average of $45.3 billion. A large portion of those gains, Forbes reported, turned out to be "fool's gold" as they disappeared soon enough. Most of his fortune was invested into Hong Kong-listed Evergrande, which suffered a setback. It sent Yan's personal fortune back to $32.8 billion.
Evergrande fell into the misfortune of having its investments go opposite directions. A series of share buybacks and dividends pushed its share prices down, brought about by pressure from short-selling investors.
Most of the views on Evergrande was attributed to the debt which Hui built while accumulating the company's land holdings, aside from investments in different businesses.
These businesses range from theme parks and also included a football club, hospitals, and mineral water. However, Hui is still not done making risky moves; he is allegedly looking to steer the property developer into another territory which may prove profitable or not. He is planning to bring it into the territory of electric vehicle development.
Yan spent $42 billion-a debt-ridden amount-to bring Evergrande Group's electric vehicle dream to life. SCMP reported that it is being christened as the Nevs 93. The car is being developed under the Evergrande Health umbrella, which is under production in Tianjin. The company did not specify however what vehicles it was creating and when it would come to the market.
The problem, however, lied in timing the wrong launch. The head of Automotive Foresight, Yale Zhang, said that it's a very bad time for any newcomer vehicle to be born. Investor appetite has also been at an all-time low, with newcomers getting a hard time finding any investors.
Paul Gong, automobiles analyst at the Swiss bank UBS, said that subsidy cuts are one of the foremost problems. It could take off five to 10 percentage points from electric car gross margins, even when cost-cutting efforts are introduced by the manufacturers.
The market is currently observing Hui Ka Yan's market moves. Some of Evergrande's investors are China's offshore fund managers as well, so they might be willing to take on more of these risks.
The government might also be part and parcel of investment strength since these investors believe a bailout will be in place, should things go wrong. It depends on whether these banks would take the added risk coming with the EV.