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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 November 2006, 10:16 GMT
Retail boss tops China rich list
A pedestrian walks past a Gome outlet in Shanghai
Gome has benefited from China's housing boom
A home appliance tycoon who has seen his personal wealth almost double in the past year has been named China's richest businessman.

Huang Guangyu, 37, the founder of Gome Appliances, worth an estimated $2.3bn (1.2bn), has topped the latest China rich list released by Forbes magazine.

As China booms, Forbes said the total wealth of its 400 richest people had risen 51% in the past year to $110bn.

Mr Huang has denied reports he is caught up in a bank fraud case.

Chinese media have said he is under investigation over fraudulent bank loans involving his brother, who is a real estate developer.

Housing boom

Mr Huang's wealth has skyrocketed as newly affluent Chinese consumers have raced to buy Gome's refrigerators and other household products, in a side-effect of China's housing boom.

He is followed in the latest China rich list by property developer Xu Rongmao, worth an estimated $2.1bn.

In third place is last year's number one, Larry Rong Zhijian, head of Hong Kong-based conglomerate CITIC Pacific, whose wealth is valued at $2bn.

China's wealthiest woman, Zhang Yin, said to be worth $1.5bn, comes fifth on the latest list.

Forbes compiles its rich list data by analysing shareholder statements and other publicly available data, and through interviews with the companies concerned and their rivals.


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