Guotai Junan Unit Says Chairman Yim Fung Can't Be Contacted
November 22, 2015 — 7:23 PM EST Updated on November 23, 2015 — 5:44 AM EST
Guotai Junan International Says Unable to Reach CEO Yim Fung hasn't been in contact since Nov. 18, firm says Brokerage's shares fall 12% after temporary replacements named
Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd. shares plunged 12 percent in Hong Kong after the brokerage said it can’t contact its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yim Fung.
The Hong Kong unit of one of China’s biggest securities firms, Guotai Junan Securities Co., appointed temporary replacements after failing to reach Yim since Nov. 18, the company told the stock exchange on Monday. The executive “currently cannot discharge his duties,” the company said.
Two calls to Yim’s mobile phone went to his voicemail box.
The stock’s slide to close at HK$2.85 on Monday was its biggest decline in three months. The shares
fell as much as 17 percent earlier in the day.
Based in Hong Kong, Yim has a high profile in the local securities industry, including through his comments to the media and as chairman and then honorary chairman of the Chinese Securities Association of Hong Kong. In China, Yim is known as Yan Feng.
The developments at Guotai Junan International coincide with finance industry investigations in China prompted by the nation’s summer stock bust and President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption. Officials at the securities regulator, senior staff at Citic Securities Co., and a top fund manager are among those who have been caught up in probes.
The most senior official under investigation in the Chinese probes is Yao Gang, a vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission who formerly oversaw initial public offerings. He was the general manager of Guotai Junan Securities from 1999 to 2002. Yim was taken away for investigation in connection with Yao’s case, Sohu.com reported, citing unidentified person in Hong Kong financial industry.
People may associate the Guotai Junan International events “with the recent crackdown on the financial industry by mainland authorities,” said Ronald Wan, chief executive at Partners Capital International in Hong Kong. “Investors will be concerned about the company’s operations. It will also affect sentiment over the brokerage industry as a whole as the industry is now under greater scrutiny.”