Guotai Junan CEO Reappears After 'Aiding China Probe'

The Hong Kong brokerage chief explained his mysterious disappearance as helping authorities' investigations. Stocks surged in response to his return.

A month after his mysterious disappearance, the CEO of Hong Kong-based Guotai Junan Securities (GJS), Dr. Yim Fung, has reappeared, saying he had been “assisting in certain investigations carried out by Mainland authorities”. The fourth biggest brokerage in China’s Hong Kong branch stated that Dr. Yim is due to resume his roles as chairman of the board, CEO and Executive Director of the company, effective from today.

In a statement released today, GJS addressed investors’ concerns, emphasizing that no harm was done. “Neither Dr. Yim himself nor the Company was the subject of the investigations,” the statement claimed, adding:  “The Board confirms that the current operations of the Company are normal and stable”. Following Dr. Yim’s disappearance, GJS stock plunged by 17 per cent on the Hong Kong stock market, while his return raised the stock price by 8 per cent.

 

Disappearing Executives

CNBC reports that last month only, three other major Chinese brokerages said that they were under investigation, while the official Xinhua News Agency reported that star Chinese fund manager Xu Xiang was detained on suspicion of insider trading. Dr. Yim is a member of a group of high-profile figures in China’s securities industry who have either disappeared or been detained after regulators began investigating a meltdown in China’s stock market last June.

 

Last month, Finance Magnates reported on this relatively new phenomenon. A number of leading Chinese securities firms are facing a common issue, unique to 2015, in that their leading personnel have simply become unreachable, falling off the grid amidst a series of probes.

 

GJS Entering HKEX

 

Last June, GJS was cleared by local regulators to tap 29.7 billion Chinese yuan ($4.8 billion) from local investors. The firm is one of the largest brokerages in the country and is already listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

GJS has been the fourth largest brokerage listed in China since the start of the year. The Chinese stock market has been booming since early 2015 with major indices more than doubling since fall 2014.

 

 

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