Stocks linked to missing Chinese tycoon plunge as mystery deepens
Xishui and Baotou Huazi led declines, plunging by their 10 per cent daily limits on the Shanghai bourse
Stocks associated with Chinese tycoon Xiao Jianhua, who’s in mainland China to help with police investigations, tumbled on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses when trading resumed after a five-day Lunar New Year break, as the mystery surrounding his whereabouts and circumstances of his departure from Hong Kong deepens.
Xiao, ranked 32nd with his wife on Hurun’s China Rich List 2016, is estimated to be worth US$5.97 billion. He owns stakes in several publicly traded companies through private companies Baotou Beida Tomorrow Resource Technology (包頭明天科技), Baotou Beipu (北普實業) and Zhengyuan (正元) Investment Co., according to his April 15 interview three years ago, published on May 6, 2013 in The 21st Century Business Herald.
Three of the stocks in which Xiao owns the most substantial stakes led the declines.
Xishui Strong Year Co., a cement manufacturer and insurer that’s 10.45 per cent held via Zhengyuan, fell by its 10 per cent limit in Shanghai to a two-year low of 17.54 yuan.
Baotou Huazi Industry Co., a beet sugar refiner and edible oils maker which is 5.2 per cent owned by Beipu, plunged by the daily 10 per cent limit to 12.17 yuan, the lowest since June 13 last year.
Boutou Tomorrow Technology Co., a raw materials producer that’s 34.6 per cent held by Zhengyuan and 3.4 per cent held through Beida, fell 5 per cent to 10.17 yuan. In a February 2 statement, the company said it’s operating normally, without giving additional details as to Xiao’s whereabouts.
Xiao is in mainland China to help with police investigations into the country’s 2015 stock market turmoil, a source familiar with the case told the South China Morning Post on February 1. The investigation is also believed to be related to disgraced former vice-minister of state security Ma Jian, who came under suspicion for breaking Communist Party discipline -- a euphemism for corruption -- earlier in 2015, the source said.
Xiao’s departure for mainland China from Hong Kong contrasts with an advertisement he placed in local newspaper Ming Pao, in which he claimed to be overseas, and was in good condition. Xiao’s wife Zhou Hongwen is now running the family business, said another source close to the tycoon.
A number of other stocks that are also associated with Xiao -- according to his 2013 interview with the 21st Century Business Herald -- also declined.
Huaxia Bank fell as much as 1.1 per cent to 11.46 yuan, in its biggest intraday decline in four weeks, while Industrial Bank fell as much as 0.7 per cent to 9.15 yuan.
Baotou Beifang Chuangye. a maker of railway cars and components, fell as much as 4.6 per cent to 13.92 yuan. Luyin Investment Group, which sells pharmaceuticals and woollen products, fell as much as 4.1 per cent.
Donlinks International Investment, a grains distributor, fell as much as 3.6 per cent to 12.82 yuan in Shenzhen, their biggest intraday fall in three weeks.