Beijing banker jumps to his death
State-owned financial firm says the suicide of its chief supervisor not related to huge losses from trading gold and silver futures
A 60-year-old banker at state-owned China Jianyin Investment died after jumping off a building in the financial district in Beijing.
Wang Shiqiang, the chairman of the board of supervisors at Jianyin Investment, a financial conglomerate controlled by Central Huijin Investment, a domestic arm of the country's sovereign wealth fund, was confirmed dead on Wednesday afternoon.
The company said in a statement yesterday "Wang passed away in Beijing on April 17 due to health reasons", without further elaborating.
A Beijing-based spokesman at Jianyin Investment confirmed with the South China Morning Post that the senior banker's unexpected death was suicide but subsequently denied speculation that the incident was related to substantial losses from trading in gold and silver futures.
The spokesman declined to offer further comment and said the company expressed its deepest sympathy to all those affected by the incident.
According to an official at Central Huijin who met Wang a few days ago, he was unaware of the reason for Wang's sudden death.
The death of Wang, who jumped off a building on Jingrong Street - China's Manhattan, where major financial and large companies are located - may be related to his prolonged depression, according to people with the company.
Wang's role in Jianyin Investment was as an internal control supervisor, whose main responsibilities included establishing and maintaining an adequate internal audit system over its financial reporting.
Established with a registered capital of 20.7 billion yuan in September 2004, Jianyin Investment was mandated to receive and manage as well as dispose of the assets in China Construction Bank's non-commercial banking division on behalf of the State Council.
The company was involved in the consolidation and restructuring of a number of mainland securities houses through capital injection in 2005 and 2006.
Apart from his position at Jianyin Investment, Wang was appointed by Hong Kong-listed Bank of China as a non-executive independent director in January.
The lender did not identify the tenure of a director's appointment, but selected executives are generally offered three-year terms.
Before joining Jianyin Investment in 2006, Wang, a Beijing-based certified accountant, worked as a training director at the China Banking Regulatory Commission between 2003 and 2006.
He had held different positions at the People's Bank of China from 1977 to 2003, for which he worked as an internal accountant and treasurer, according to a statement issued by Bank of China.
A Beijing-based spokesman for Bank of China could not be reached for comment.