Shares of CEFC Anhui, related to troubled tycoon Ye Jianming, sink 10pc after month-long suspension

Company’s creditors to meet on May 15 to discuss loan repayment plans as some US$7 billion is due by June

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2018, 11:16am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2018, 8:34pm

CEFC Anhui International Holding plunged by its daily limit of 10 per cent on Wednesday in Shenzhen, wiping out about 1.2 billion yuan (US$195 million) from its market capitalisation as trading resumed after more than a month of suspension.

The shares fell to 4.85 yuan leaving the company with a market cap of 11.05 billion yuan.

“The situation regarding CEFC is very murky, especially regarding what the arrangements will be for its frozen shares,” said Wu Kan, a fund manager at Shanshan Finance in Shanghai. “This is causing strong selling pressure to continue in the stock.”

CEFC Anhui, which is involved in fertilisers, agricultural chemicals and energy, was suspended from trading on March 19. Ten days later four Chinese courts froze a combined 496 million shares of the firm owned by its parent company, CEFC Shanghai International Group.

CEFC Shanghai is a principal unit of embattled CEFC China Energy, a freewheeling asset buyer controlled by financier Ye Jianming, who is being investigated by the mainland authorities for suspected economic crimes.

CEFC Anhui issued a statement on March 1, saying Ye was not its actual controller, after it was reported that he had been detained by authorities for investigation.

CEFC Anhui on Wednesday notified the Shenzhen Stock Exchange of its plans regarding CEFC Shanghai, which could result in a major change in the number of shares held by its controlling shareholder and the controlling rights.

Mainland markets also dropped in line with declines around the region because of worries over slowing economic growth amid heightened US-China trade war tensions.

The Shanghai Composite Index and the CSI 300 – which tracks the large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen – each dropped 0.5 per cent in late trading to 3,114.59 and 3,825.85 respectively.

CEFC China is under pressure to repay loans – including some US$7 billion that are due by June – it used to acquire assets around the world 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.

While baffled by the limited information on the company’s financial condition, creditors are set to meet in Shanghai on May 15 to discuss the repayment plans.

CITIC Group, the state-owned investment conglomerate, has agreed to take a 49 per cent stake in CEFC Europe, the Czech Republic-based unit of CEFC, and carry on investments made and promised by CEFC in the country.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that CITIC has been conducting due diligence on CEFC China Energy’s stake in onshore oilfields in Abu Dhabi “as CITIC prepares, under the Chinese government’s direction, to possibly take over CEFC’s energy business”.