HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - Shares of China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd (2799.HK) were suspended from trade on Wednesday after Beijing said it was investigating the firm’s chairman for suspected graft.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on Tuesday it is investigating Lai Xiaomin for suspected “serious discipline violations”, a euphemism for graft, the latest in a string of probes into high-profile financial executives.
State-controlled Huarong hit the headlines this year after building up a 36 percent stake in a key unit of embattled private energy company CEFC China Energy. The unit, CEFC Hainan International, is acquiring a $9.1 billion stake in Russia’s Rosneft.
Shares of Huarong, which have a market value of HK$124 billion ($15.8 billion), were halted pending a statement, it said in a filing. The company did not respond to a request for comment when contacted by Reuters.
Trade in shares of two of its units, Huarong Investment Stock Corp Ltd (2277.HK) and Huarong International Financial Holdings Ltd (0993.HK), was also suspended.
Reuters, Chinese and international media reported in March that Ye Jianming, the chairman and founder of privately owned CEFC, had been investigated for suspected economic crimes. Ye’s current whereabouts are unclear.
Reporting by Donny Kwok; Additional reporting by Chen Aizhu and Zhang Shu in Beijing; Editing by Edwina Gibbs