The future of Guangzhou International Trust and Investment Corp (Gzitic) has been thrown into doubt after its Hong Kong finance arm was forced into liquidation yesterday. The action also casts a cloud over red chip Gzitic Hualing Holdings, which will see a change of control as a result. Gzitic holds 50.9 per cent of its Hong Kong-listed arm through Guangzhou Finance. The parent had already pledged 90 per cent of its 57.89 per cent shareholding in Gzitic Hualing to obtain loans. Once the High Court made a winding-up order there was no way back, a lawyer said. The creditor or creditors secured with Gzitic Hualing shares could either hold on to them or liquidate them, which in either case would mean a change in control. The High Court yesterday appointed KPMG partners Gabriel Tam Chi-kok and Alan Tang Chung-wah as the provisional liquidators of Guangzhou Finance. A KPMG spokesman said they would preserve the assets of the firm and had yet to fix a date for creditors to meet. The turn of events took bankers by surprise, coming after assurances over the company's future from Gzitic officials in the past three days. The People's Bank of China and Gzitic's owner, the Guangzhou municipal government, had earlier said that they intended to keep the firm afloat as they did not want to see more large international trust and investment corporations (Itics) collapse. The closure and subsequent liquidation of provincial fund-raising arm Guangdong International Trust and Investment Corp sent shivers through the foreign banking community. Among the leading Itics in Guangdong, Gzitic had an estimated 20 billion yuan (about HK$18.62 billion) in assets and 19 billion yuan in liabilities. Creditor banks yesterday asked Gzitic officials to provide written evidence of its intention to restructure to stay afloat. They also asked the company's officials to call on other creditors not to take legal action against the firm during the interim period.