Bank of China

China Satcom top job for Wen's son boosts unit's stock

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 February, 2012, 12:00am

Investors cheered news that Wen Yunsong, the son of Premier Wen Jiabao, has been named chairman of state-owned China Satellite Communications Corp, by sending the share price of its Hong Kong-listed unit Hong Kong APT Satellite up 44 per cent since Monday.

Yesterday, shares in the company, which operates satellite telecommunication systems, closed on the Hong Kong stock exchange at HK$2.24 each. Brokers said retail investors, making a bet in a bullish market, were behind the rise.

Wen, also known as Winston Wen, co-founded a private-equity fund in Beijing named New Horizon Capital in 2005, and was later tapped to take a senior role at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASTC), the main contractor for the nation's space programme. He was named chairman of China Satcom last week, marking one of the latest so-called princelings to be appointed to influential corporate positions.

China Satcom, acquired by CASTC in 2009, is one of the six operators in the mainland's sensitive telecoms industry.

While the offspring of mainland government leaders in the 1980s or before might have chosen political roles, members of the younger generation migrated to business.

Among them, the eldest son of former president Jiang Zemin, Jiang Mianheng, was a board member of China NetCom, which was later acquired by China Unicom.

Levin Zhu, son of former premier Zhu Rongji, is chief executive of China International Capital Corp, the first foreign joint-venture investment bank in the mainland, which was founded by Morgan Stanley and China Central Huijin, the investment arm of the mainland's sovereign fund.

Zhu resigned from foreign investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston in 1998 to become head of CICC's Hong Kong office, the same year his father was elected premier. It was believed then that he returned home because of an informal official ruling forbidding relatives of senior Communist Party officials to work for foreign companies. He took the helm of the mainland investment bank in 2004.

Li Tong, daughter of Communist Party propaganda chief Li Changchun, holds a senior management role at Bank of China International. Her brother Li Huidi is a China Mobile vice-president. Hu Haifeng, the son of President Hu Jintao, is a former president of Nuctech, a company selling radioactivity monitors, X-ray inspection systems and other equipment.