China Renaissance shares frozen amid financial woes

The Hong Kong-listed shares of investment bank China Renaissance were put on hold on Monday after the company said it was unable to release its annual results due to the absence of its chairman.

The billionaire chairman and executive director of the organization, Bao Fan, vanished in February and was later found to be “cooperating” in an official probe, raising concerns about a potential resumption of a crackdown on China’s financial industry.

Bao’s absence made it difficult for the bank, which focuses on the Chinese tech sector, to publish its certified 2022 results, it was revealed on Sunday.

“At the request of the Company, trading in the shares of the Company on the Stock Exchange will be suspended with effect from 9:00 a.m. on Monday, 3 April 2023, pending the publication of the 2022 Annual Results,” the bank said in a stock exchange filing.

Regarding Bao’s imprisonment or the reasons behind the inquiry, Chinese officials have not provided any information.

Cong Lin, the president of China Renaissance, was detained in September of last year as a result of an investigation into his work at the state-owned bank ICBC’s financial leasing division, according to financial news source Caixin.

About his case, no other information has been disclosed.

Since its establishment in 2005, China Renaissance has grown to be a major financial organisation with over 700 staff members with locations in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York.

Bao was listed as one of the “fast-talking” bankers who could “arrange practically anything in China’s vibrant tech scene” on the Bloomberg Markets 50 Most Influential list in 2015.

Bao is not the first prominent Chinese financier to run afoul of the law in recent years, as President Xi Jinping has led an adamant campaign against alleged corruption.

Businessman Xiao Jianhua, a Chinese-Canadian, was detained by mainland authorities in 2017 and sentenced to 13 years in prison for corruption in August.

The businessman, who is well-known to be connected to senior Chinese Communist Party figures, was reportedly kidnapped from his hotel room in Hong Kong by Beijing-based plainclothes police officials.

- Published By Team Hongkong Journalist

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