China Minsheng Bank’s shares dropped yesterday as the president of the country’s largest private lender resigned on Saturday amid media reports that he had been taken away to assist mainland anti-graft investigators. Separately, Bank of Beijing said in a filing last night a board member had been taken away for investigation into a serious breach of discipline. Minsheng shares fell 10.5 per cent to a low of HK$8.46, before cutting their losses to close down 3.07 per cent at HK$9.16. In Shanghai, the stock slid 3.2 per cent to 9.17 yuan (HK$11.50). “The long-term impact towards the stock was unquantifiable since there was little clarity whether the Chinese authorities will prosecute Mao [Xiaofeng] and how Anbang will run the operation of the Chinese lender,” said Ben Kwong Man-bun, a director of broker KGI Asia. Shi Yuzhu, the chairman of Giant Interactive, a Chinese game developer and operator, warned that the new president should be competent and capable of running the bank’s operations as the former president lacked relevant skills. Shi, a major shareholder of Minsheng Bank, did not name the former head. Mao has been taken in for questioning as part of a corruption investigation into Ling Jihua, an aide to former president Hu Jintao, Caixin reported. “Due to the change in management, and the unverified impact of having Anbang as its controlling shareholder, we downgraded the rating on Minsheng to neutral from buy,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch said yesterday, adding the target price was cut to HK$10.32 from HK$11.60. Minsheng announced that the chairman, Hong Qi, would become the acting president, adding that Mao had resigned due to “personal reasons”. According to the People’s Daily , the lender issued a memo on Friday asking employees to stand by for a possible emergency at the weekend. Minsheng, founded in 1996, is the country’s first private lender. Investors include insurance firm Anbang, which recently bought New York’s iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel. Beijing-based Anbang, the largest shareholder of Minsheng, holds a 22.51 per cent stake in the company’s A shares and a 5.18 per cent stake in its H shares, after buying shares in the market for the past three months.