- Shares in Beijing-based investment bank China Renaissance plunged more than 20% after its founder and CEO went missing.
- China clamped down on the country’s tech CEOs last year largely to create stronger protection for consumers.
- The top tech dealmaker’s disappearance combined with China’s crackdown suggests the country is “uninvestible,” according to Muddy Waters Research.
Shares in a leading Chinese investment bank plunged more than 20% after its billionaire founder vanished from public sight.
China Renaissance’s stock nosedived 28.2% in Hong Kong trading on Friday.
The company noted it “has been unable to contact” its founder and CEO Bao Fan. “The Board is not aware of any information that indicates that Mr. Bao’s unavailability is or might be related to the business and/or operations of the Group which is continuing normally,” according to a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The Beijing-based investment bank’s day-to-day operations will be spearheaded by the executive committee of the company in Fan’s absence, the statement added.
Fan’s disappearance follows an investigation of Cong Lin, the former chairman of China Renaissance’s subsidiary firm Huajing Securities, according to a Chinese financial news outlet, cited by CNBC.
Chinese authorities found that Huajing breached the securities law pertaining to corporate governance last September.
Since last fall, China has clamped down on the country’s tech industry, and announced plans to restrict how companies use algorithms. The crackdown shook investors and added risks to Chinese tech stocks like Alibaba and Ant Group. It’s also deterred many from holding Chinese tech stocks because of the heightened uncertainty.
Muddy Waters Research, a US-based due-diligence firm that conducts investigative research on Chinese companies, has suggested that Fan’s vanishing and China’s new tech regulations are creating an image for the country that’s not investor-friendly.
“Again, China = Uninvestible”, it said in a tweet accompanied by the news of Fan.