Lai See

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 February, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 February, 2004, 12:00am


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Two mainland tycoons, Qiu Yingxin and Zhang Hongwei, continued their negotiations over a disputed stake in Minsheng Bank yesterday, with the Supreme People's Court in Beijing acting as mediator.

Court officials, however, were less than impressed by the fourth estate's efforts to find out more.

'We are rushing to process this case. You media should stay out of this for the time being,' was the curt reply of Zhang Buqi, the judge presiding over the case. 'We are studying how to handle the case and you shouldn't meddle with it.'

He added: 'It wouldn't be nice if you people were to complicate it.'


It is not often that the chief financial officer of a listed company publicly invites a strategic shareholder to dump a large shareholding.

But that is precisely what Sinopec Zhenhai CFO Zhu Zengqing appeared to do yesterday, when he was quoted by a news agency as saying that China's largest oil refiner would actually 'welcome' a decision by BP to unload its 9.41 per cent holding on the grounds that '[BP's] shares are not liquid'.

Given that such buy-and-hold value investing is one of the main reasons to sign on a strategic investor in the first place, it seemed odd that Mr Zhu would dare BP to jilt his company. So we called to check.

He was misquoted, a company official hastened to explain.

For a few minutes there we thought poor Mr Zhu was trying to get himself fired.