CITIC chairman finally 'retires'
THE chairman of China International Trust and Investment Corp (CITIC), Wei Mingyi, has tendered his resignation, a CITIC spokesman says.
'We are now awaiting for the decision by the State Council. He is retiring because of his advanced age. As chairman he can stay until he is 70, but he is now 71,' spokesman Yao Jinrong said.
Some reports said Mr Wei resigned at a board meeting last Sunday, but on Monday a spokesman denied this.
CITIC is a ministry-level company and major decisions must be approved by the State Council.
CITIC president Wang Jun was expected to replace him, but a spokesman for the State Council said there was no news of any changes at CITIC.
Last week, Mr Wang was confident he would succeed Mr Wei, who was promoted in 1993 to fill a gap left when founding chairman Rong Yiren became Vice-President of China.
On Sunday, Mr Wang was promoted to vice-chairman, joining Lu Xuejian and Yang Guangqi. He remains president of CITIC.
As the son of China's late Vice-President and Long March veteran Wang Zhen, he is regarded as one of the 'princelings' who are now being promoted to top positions in order to rejuvenate China's leadership.
Mr Wei is widely assumed to have resigned to take responsibility for losses of US$40 million in unauthorised metals trading by the Shanghai branch.
In his two years as chairman, Mr Wei presided over the rapid expansion of CITIC's foreign assets, but China's pioneer investment bank has been unable to supervise all activities of its many subsidiaries.
The collapse of Barings has accentuated fears about the activities of rogue dealers speculating in high-risk futures markets.
Li Yao, an analyst at the Bank of China, said China should learn from the Barings incident.