Billionaire Shu Ping of Haidilao International Holding has chosen Singapore to open a family office to manage her money. Haidilao, known for its Chinese spicy soup, is the most popular chain of hotpot restaurants in China. According to Singapore’s national regulator of business entities, Ms Ping was appointed as the sole shareholder and director of Sunrise Capital Management back in July.
Haidilao, which was co-founded by Ms Ping and her husband, Zhang Yong, and two other partners, started back in 1994. The restaurant became popular for attending to their clientele by offering them massages and manicures while waiting for their turn to be seated. Since then, the restaurant has grown exponentially and now has almost 600 branches located in China, Japan, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia and the United States.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ms Ping is one of the richest people in Singapore, having a US$7.7 billion net worth, which is roughly equivalent to S$10.7 billion. Her husband is also worth US$7.7 billion, giving them a combined net worth of over US$15 billion. Ms Ping has been issued full authority over the shares of the Haidilao company, but what is yet unknown is whether Sunrise Capital will also manage Yong’s wealth or just his wife’s.
Regardless, choosing Singapore to set up Sunrise Capital is considered a “major win for the country”. While family offices were created to manage the money of the richest people on the planet, they also incorporate a sense of prudence and attend to other personal and customized services that private banks cannot do. It’s also not surprising that Ms Ping chose Singapore considering that the government has been giving tax breaks and other incentives for more billionaires to invest in the country. Ms Ping and her husband also have a S$27 million home they bought some years back near the Botanic Gardens, and they are both naturalised citizens.
What about the impact of COVID-19 on business?
Of course, just like the rest of the world, the Haidilao group must also deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Not only its impact on businesses globally, but moreover for their business in China. With most of its branches located on the mainland, around 91% of Haidlilao’s revenue has been affected since the company closed its restaurant’s doors back in late January. And even though they are still doing partial delivery online, it’s not enough to maintain their usual earnings.
An analyst for the Jefferies Financial Group explained that just one month of closure for the group could leave them with 466 million yuan in total loses. In the meantime, China Citic Bank International and aiBank will extend a line of credit to Haidilao amounting to 2.1 billion yuan (S$417 million) to help tide them over until the crisis is under control. Haidilao stock has actually gone up 3.7% in Hong Kong just this year alone. But like any other business, they will just have to wait and see what the final impact will be on their shares when everything is said and done.