A Singaporean tech billionaire saw his wealth shrink by 80% and got kicked off a rich list amid a global tech selloff, poor earnings in his company, and new regulatory pressures in one of its most promising markets, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
Forrest Li, the CEO and founder of the gaming and e-commerce conglomerate Sea, was estimated to be worth $22 billion a few months ago, but is now worth about $4.7 billion, Bloomberg reported. That means he no longer makes the cut for the outlet’s list of the 500 richest people in the world, the article said.
The shrinking of Li’s fortune came as a series of bad news engulfed Sea, which he founded in 2009, which sent its share prices tumbling more than 80% since its October peak, Bloomberg reported.
Stock markets around the world have whipsawed in recent weeks: The Federal Reserve’s aggressive pace of interest-rate hikes, higher global inflation, and the war in Ukraine have prompted investors to flee riskier assets, including tech stocks, as Insider previously reported. As of Monday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down by more than 25% since the beginning of the year.
Correspondingly, the value of Li’s holdings shrunk and chipped away at his wealth. As Sea’s chairman and CEO, Li holds about 59.9% voting power of the company’s outstanding ordinary shares as of April 5, the company’s annual report shows.
Sea was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2009. Last August, Li became Singapore’s richest person as Sea’s share prices rose amid Southeast Asia’s booming digital economy and strong performance in stock markets around the world, Bloomberg reported at the time.
But bad news came knocking on Sea’s door in recent months. India banned the company’s popular game “Free Fire” in February, which spooked investors about Sea’s prospects in the country, Reuters reported. They pulled out their investments in Sea, and wiped $16 billion off from its market value in a single day, per the article.
Sea’s share price was also impacted by poor earnings results that caused it to drop 13% the day they were released in March, The Motley Fool reported.
Li’s woes also come amid a broad sell-off in tech stocks around the world. In January, the world’s five richest tech tycoons — including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates — lost about $85 billion of their collective wealth, as Insider’s Huileng Tan reported at the time.
Analysts are expecting Sea’s share price to fall further. They’re expecting the company to post a record loss of more than $740 million, Bloomberg reported.
The company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on Tuesday. An analyst quoted by Bloomberg lowered his forecast for Sea’s target stock price to $105 from $180 on May 10.