Artini back in trading but chief still suspended
Fashion accessories supplier Artini Asia said its chairman and chief executive, Tse Chiu-kwan, remained suspended even as trading in its shares resumed yesterday.
Artini closed down 0.93 per cent at 10.70 HK cents yesterday, while the Hang Seng Index fell 0.66 per cent. Shares of the company had been suspended since July 30.
The company suspended its chairman after it tried and failed to contact him for 10 days, Artini said in a company filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on July 29.
It said in another filing, on Thursday, that Tse had been detained by police in Shenzhen for questioning on suspicions of a drug-related offence and, pending further investigation, was released on bail 'given that there is insufficient evidence'.
Artini said in the Thursday filing that Tse re-established contact with the board on July 31. Tse said he was detained by the Shenzhen police while returning to Hong Kong from a recent trip to the mainland, for questioning on suspicion of a drug-related offence.
The company has appointed Tse's wife, Yip Ying-kam, the vice-chairwoman and chief operating officer who co-founded the firm with Tse, as acting chief executive and alternative authorised representative 'until further notice'.
A spokesman for Artini said the company had no more information to provide at the moment. The spokesman also said he was not sure whether Tse had returned to Hong Kong or was in Shenzhen.
Artini said in February that Tse 'would like to take a leave of absence due to health problems, from February 23, 2012, to July 5, 2012'. Tse returned to work in May, cutting short the four months of scheduled leave.
In June, the company announced a net loss of HK$143.34 million for the year ended March, down from a loss of HK$176.56 million the year before. It said the loss was largely due to poor retail turnover that year.
As of the end of March, it had 50 retail outlets on the mainland.
The number of retail outlets Artini had on the mainland as of the end of March•It had 120 a year earlier