China courts freeze CEFC’s shares, casting doubt on future of would-be Rosneft investor
Four Chinese courts froze a combined 496 million shares owned by CEFC Group, representing a 21.8 per cent stake in CEFC Anhui International
Four mainland China courts have frozen a combined 496 million shares of Shenzhen-listed CEFC Anhui International Holding that were owned by its parent company, CEFC Shanghai International Group, casting further doubt over the country’s largest non-state-owned energy giant.
CEFC Anhui International said in an exchange filing on Thursday evening that on checking with the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation recently, it found that the shares, 21.8 per cent of its issued share capital, had been frozen by courts in Tianjin, Fujian, Henan and Shandong. It has urged the controlling shareholder to clarify the situation and arrange for the proper disclosure of information.
CEFC Shanghai International is a principal unit of embattled CEFC China Energy, a freewheeling asset buyer controlled by financier Ye Jianming.
Ye is being investigated by the mainland authorities for suspected economic crimes.
Sources said CEFC China is now under pressure to repay debts it used to fund the acquisition of assets around the world, which were valued at about US$12 billion.
These acquisitions include a US$9.1 billion deal to buy a 14.16 per cent stake in Russia’s Rosneft.
It was reported that CEFC China might pay an annual interest of up to 36 per cent for short-term funding due to a cash crunch faced by the company, as Beijing tightened oversight on reckless borrowing by several privately owned conglomerates, including CEFC China and HNA Group, to acquire international assets.