Fosun Group

Guo Guangchang, boss of Fosun, pops up in New York for dinner a week after ‘assisting’ Chinese authorities

Social media post shows Guo having dinner on 53rd street, New York

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 December, 2015, 12:56pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 December, 2015, 6:00pm

Guo Guangchang, the chairman of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International, showed up on Thursday evening in New York, following a four-day period when he went missing because he was “assisting (an) investigation” by mainland judiciary authorities.

Guo made an appearance at a meeting of his company in Shanghai on Monday after going missing for four days from Thursday last week. His company Fosun International said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last Friday that Guo had been helping the authorities on an investigation, without giving further details.

A social media account named Yixiao Hu posted five pictures on Friday. One of the pictures shows Guo having dinner in a suit with some people.

“I went to midtown for dinner and bumped into Guo tonight. He looks good in spirit,” the account said.

A Fosun source said Guo left Shanghai for the US on Wednesday, December 16.

Speculation swirled last week after Guo was said to have been taken away for questioning on an anti-corruption probe, sparking talk that he is the latest Chinese executive snared in Beijing’s ongoing anti-corruption drive.

It is not yet known if Guo’s assistance has been finished, given he has been allowed to leave China. A spokesman with Fosun said the company does not comment on market speculation.

In the earlier stock exchange filing, Fosun International said Guo was allowed by the authorities to “continue to take part in decision making via appropriate means”.

Credit rating agency Moody’s on Tuesday downgraded its outlook on Fosun to “negative” from “stable”, saying Guo’s involvement in the investigation added to uncertainty over Fosun’s ability to address the refinancing of its high level of short-term debt and the funding of its investments.

Fashioning himself after iconic American billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the 48-year-old Guo controls four mainland Chinese listed companies, and two Hong Kong listed companies. His conglomerate manages assets worth roughly US$100 billion, and covers industries such as insurance, entertainment, health care, banking, and luxury retailing all over the world.

Fosun spent $5.7 billion over two years acquiring insurance assets, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The stock price of the parent Fosun International closed on Friday at HK$12.02 in Hong Kong, having recovered from a recent low-point at HK$11.66 reached on Tuesday.