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October 21, 2009

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Mining magnate establishes big charity

A TYCOON ranked China's 15th richest person has donated most of his stake in his holding company to set up the country's biggest charity foundation.

Chen Fashu, 48, president of Fuzhou-based Xinhuadu Industrial Group, launched the Xinhuadu Charity Foundation yesterday in Beijing with 90 percent of his stake in the group, which is traded on the Shenzhen market, China National Radio reported.

The donation is estimated around 8 billion yuan (US$1.17 billion), making the foundation the country's biggest of its kind, based on yesterday's closing Xinhuadu share price of 29.6 yuan.

The foundation will be modeled on Bill Gates' Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and mainly help schooling in poverty-stricken areas, according to Li Xin, Xinhuadu's assistant to the president.

Chen has an estimated personal wealth of 25 billion yuan.

Chen's fortune comes mainly from Zijin Mining, one of China's largest private miners, and he has expanded into property, investment and retailing.

He is the second largest shareholder of Yunnan Baiyao Group and third largest shareholder of Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd.

Earlier this year, tycoon Cao Dewang announced a plan to give away 70 percent of his shares in Fuyao Glass Industry Group Company to set up a charity foundation.

But the plan was finally dropped because the government didn't approve it, citing the group's complex shareholding structure. Cao's planned donation was estimated around 4.1 billion yuan.


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