China Renaissance Holdings Ltd. said its chairman and founder Bao Fan is still “cooperating” in an unspecified investigation, six months after the once high-flying banker’s sudden disappearance sent shockwaves through the country’s financial services industry.
(Bloomberg) — China Renaissance Holdings Ltd. said its chairman and founder Bao Fan is still “cooperating” in an unspecified investigation, six months after the once high-flying banker’s sudden disappearance sent shockwaves through the country’s financial services industry.
“Bao is still cooperating in the investigation carried out by certain authorities in the PRC,” China Renaissance said in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange late Wednesday, referring to the full name of China.
The Chinese investment bank roiled the domestic banking and business community in February by saying that Bao was cooperating in a probe. The announcement also suggested the firm hadn’t been in touch with Bao and didn’t know where he was.
In China, the sudden absence of a boss has come to signal a government crackdown or investigation. In many cases, the person is said to be assisting with graft probes. Publicly listed companies typically report they have lost contact with the executive and need to make their own inquiries into what happened within the country’s opaque legal system.
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President Xi Jinping launched a broad anti-corruption probe in late 2021 targeting the nation’s $60 trillion financial sector, which has brought down dozens of officials. The probe has also implicated the investment banking community, ensnaring bankers from brokerages including Everbright Securities Co. and Guotai Junan Securities Co.
Now Xi is trying to revive private-sector confidence at a time when the economy is weakening. Bao, an outspoken financier, has sprawling connections across sectors and had been the go-to banker for some of China’s biggest companies.
Trading of China Renaissance shares in Hong Kong has been suspended since April. They plunged 30% in February following the firm’s initial announcement that it lost contact with Bao.
In its Wednesday filing, the company said its business and operations are continuing normally and it will continue to monitor the matters related to Bao and update investors “when appropriate.”
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