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China’s newest, most exclusive club

In China on 14/12/2015 at 7:30 am

Being called by the police to assist investigations:

NYR Dealbook

CHAIRMAN OF FOSUN GROUP SAID TO BE MISSING The billionaire chairman at one of China’s biggest private conglomerates is reportedly missing as the authorities are intensifying their scrutiny of the finance sector, Michael Forsythe reports in DealBook.

The group’s listed arm, Fosun International, trades in Hong Kong and itsshares were suspended on Friday with no explanation or announcements from the company.

The billionaire, Guo Guangchang, often described as “China’s Warren Buffett,” may have been taken away by police, either under arrest or in custody for questioning, the financial magazine Caixin reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Guo was allowed to make phone calls, but his personal freedom was restricted, The South China Morning Post reports, citing people familiar with the matter who also said the company was expected to make a statement after 6 a.m. Eastern time.

Fosun has been on a spending spree in the finance and insurance sectors in recent years and in September raised $1.5 billion to finance further acquisitions. It also owns the Club Med chain of resorts and a stake in Cirque du Soleil and bought Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York.

Mr. Guo’s disappearance is the latest in a series of mysterious episodes surrounding an anticorruption investigation into the financial industry, which came after a summer of volatility in Chinese markets.

A reporter confessed on national television to spreading rumors in an article about the stock market. Top executives at brokerage firms and several officials at the China’s securities regulator have been detained.

Last month, Yim Fung, the chairman of Guotai Junan International, the Hong Kong unit of one of China’s biggest brokerage firms, disappeared. On Sunday, Citic Securities, the biggest brokerage firm in China, said it was unable to get in touch with two top executives overseeing investment banking, Chen Jun and Yan Jianlin.

Several top executives at Citic Securities have been detained since August. The authorities are investigating company officers, including the president Cheng Boming, on suspicion of insider trading.

Li Yifei, the China chairwoman for the Man Group, one of the world’s biggest hedge funds, returned to work after meeting with the authorities. Xu Xiang, a hedge fund manager, was apprehended by the police after a car chase. The government said he was suspected of insider trading.

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