Song Lin, the chairman of China Resources Holdings who is at the heart of a media frenzy about allegations that he played a key role in alleged irregularities in a major acquisition by a subsidiary, appears to be unfazed by the drama. "Song comes back to the office every day, everything is normal," people close to Song told the South China Morning Post , dismissing speculation that he is under investigation and cannot travel freely. According to people who have had regular contact with Song recently, the chairman holds meetings with his senior aides as usual and discusses future development plans with them. "Song has also recently travelled frequently between Hong Kong and different mainland cities to conduct business deals," one of them said. The subsidiary at the heart of the controversy, CRP, formed a 49 per cent-owned joint venture in 2010 to acquire an 80 per cent stake in three coal mines and related assets at a cost of 7.9 billion yuan (HK$9.9 billion). Li Jianjun, a former investigative journalist from Shanxi, accused Song of misconduct and corruption in the acquisition in March. Wang Wenzhi, a reporter with Xinhua's Economic Information Daily , made similar allegations last month on his Sina Weibo blog, and called on the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection to launch an investigation. State media later said the commission was processing the complaint. A day later, Xinhua quoted the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission as saying an "audit" was being conducted by the National Audit Office. But according to the sources it was Song himself who asked the authorities as early as May to conduct the investigation to clear his name and that of his firm. The first stage "on-site" investigation has been completed, and the second stage "in-depth" investigation is under way. A full report is expected to be released in April, the sources added. They say Song is co-operating fully with the investigation and will maintain his leading role in the company. While Li and Wang accused Song and other CRP directors of intentionally overpaying for the assets, including three coal mines that did not have valid exploration and mining permits, the sources said the delay in granting permission was due to the once-in-a-decade leadership transition, then reshuffles among local government officials. The sources also said the joint venture had so far paid 4.2 billion yuan for the purchase, with an additional 3.7 billion yuan to be paid after mining rights are properly obtained. They expect this to happen in the next few weeks.