Brainfood: How she made her pile - Nina Wang, chair of Hong Kong property developer Chinachem

75 - The level of economic confidence among Arab business leaders.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Who is she? Nicknamed 'Little Sweetie' for her often pigtailed, comic-book looks, Wang, 68 runs Chinachem, Hong Kong's largest property developer - with interests in everything from vineyards to shipping lines. Her fortune is estimated at £1.2 billion.

How did she make her millions? Her husband and childhood sweetheart Teddy built Chinachem from a modest paint and chemical company into a property giant with an annual turnover of HK$27 billion (£2 billion). He was kidnapped - for the second time - in 1990, and despite a $60 million ransom was never seen again. When he was declared legally dead in 1999 Nina took over the company. She is now Asia's richest woman.

The secret of her success? Wang is renowned for hard work and frugality, eating at fast-food restaurants and working from early morning to midnight. She has continued Chinachem's grand property schemes, though her plans to build the world's largest office tower were blocked by the Hong Kong government.

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