hong kong
As a Hong Kong resident, Kei can own offshore companies without informing the Chinese government CuttyP

The 24-year-old Hong Kong woman who was named by Forbes magazine as the world's youngest billionaire actually plays very little part in the running of the company she owns.

According to the South China Morning Post, Perenna Kei Hoi-ting, is the 85% shareholder and non-exective director of Logan Properties, a giant real estate agent headquartered in the mainland city of Shenzhen.

The newspaper has also revealed Kei's residence in the city allegedly shields the business empire from the Chinese government and the taxman.

Perenna Kei Hoi-ting became a US dollar billionaire after Logan was listed in Hong Kong in December last year. It had a revenue of around $1 billion in 2012 and its stock rose 2.4% on the first day of trading.

Kei jointly owns around 85% of the company with her father, Ji Haipeng, through various holdings. However, Logan's IPO prospectus reveals her father is firmly in control of the business.

According to analysts, the real power lies in her inheritance, with the company using her Hong Kong status and name to minimise taxes. This allows the company to avoid having to reveal secretive offshore companies owned by her family, which is not illegal.

Forbes previously stated Kei has an estimated net worth of $1.45 billion and reportedly has a Bachelor's degree in economics and finance from the University of London.

The prospectus reads: "Given that Ms Kei has limited experience in the real estate business, a declaration was made by Ms Kei which declared the ultimate control over all major affairs of the group are vested in Mr Ji, the father of Ms Kei, and Ms Kei had and will continue to act under the instruction of Mr Ji from time to time."

Speaking to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), an anonymous Hong Kong analyst said: "I don't think she built this business. She's a de facto nominee for her father."

The prospectus states Kei, who acquired a Hong Kong ID card in 2012, is also reportedly a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis, offshore havens in the Caribbean. She owns a number of companies registered in offshore havens, including the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands. Her father is a Chinese national.

By the age of 20, Kei was listed as having control of the creation and dealings of the company. Her status as a Hong Kong resident allows her to own offshore companies without informing the Chinese government, whereas her father would be required to do so.

William Chan, a tax partner of international tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton, told SCMP a Hong Kong resident is not subject to tax on divident income from companies. Her father, as a Chinese national, however, is subject to tax on worldwide income.

Haipeng, in transferring shares in his companies to Kei, can successfully minimise his tax bill while being able to control the companies in question

Transferring the shares in his companies to his daughter, Haipeng would legitimately minimise his tax bill while still being able to control the companies in question.