Chinese Drugmaker Jiang Emerges as Billionaire With Flu Remedies

Feb 24, 2014 6:48 pm ET

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Jiang Wei, the chairman of Guizhou Bailing Group Pharmaceutical Co., has become a billionaire after the Anshun, China-based drugmaker surged 81 percent since June.

Jiang and his mother, Zhang Jinfen, control more than 300 million shares of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange-traded company, according to its annual report. The 64 percent stake is valued at more than $1.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Founded in 2005, Bailing specializes in making cough and flu medicines based on traditional formulas of the ethnic Miao people of southwestern China’s Guizhou province, according to its website. Its products include Vitamin-C Yinqiao Pill, used to tackle the flu, as well as pills and syrups designed to treat cardiovascular diseases. An anti-diabetes treatment made from natural herbs has had positive results in reducing sugar levels in animal tests, the company said in a Dec 17 filing.

“The company has a solid pipeline of products that are in the experimental stage but have bright prospects,” Wei Wenqing, an analyst at Hongyuan Securities Co., said in a phone interview. Wei has a hold rating on the stock.

An investor relations executive for Bailing, who asked not to be identified in accordance with company policy, declined to comment on Jiang’s net worth. Jiang didn’t respond to a phone call for comment.

The annual outlay on health care in China will almost triple to $1 trillion by 2020, driven by an aging population and government efforts to broaden insurance coverage, according to an August 2012 report by McKinsey & Co. Jiang is the latest entrepreneur to benefit from the increased spending.

Hao Zhenxi, the chairman of Zhuhai Hokai Medical Instrument Co., became a billionaire after the stock surged more than 40 percent this year.

--Michael Wei. Editors: Peter Newcomb, Linus Chua