The high-profile chairman of China Everbright Group, Zhu Xiaohua, yesterday tried to dispel market rumours of his imminent departure from Hong Kong, vowing to stay at the helm of the diversified conglomerate for at least four more years. 'I don't know where those rumours have come from,' Mr Zhu said last night. 'Two years ago, I formulated a six-year work plan for the group. Now I have completed phase one in two years and I am going to carry on for the next two phases.' Frequent rumours that Beijing is planning to transfer Mr Zhu to another job in Beijing have recently caused falls in the shares of China Everbright's listed subsidiaries in Hong Kong. He also defended the performance of the listed companies and other units of the group, saying his restructuring plan had produced early results. He admitted the group's listed flagship, China Everbright Ltd, had faced cash-flow difficulties because of its heavy bank borrowings. But Mr Zhu insisted the company's profitability was on the rise as its partly controlled assets - Everbright Bank of China, International Bank of Asia and National Mutual Asia - would contribute considerable earnings this year. He said China Everbright Technology, which lost $24 million for the year to December, would focus on hi-tech product development with its main core businesses becoming profitable this year. Mr Zhu said the group was prepared to inject more hi-tech assets into China Everbright Technology in the future. He hinted the group would proceed with its plan to launch a US$200 million exchangeable bond issue for the China Telecom (Hong Kong) shares it holds, despite objections from China Telecom itself. Meanwhile, Xu Bin, president of Everbright Bank of China, said the bank was aiming for 13 per cent growth in earnings this year, after posting an 84.17 per cent rise in pre-tax profits last year.