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December 17, 2009

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Maoye trading halted as head said under probe

MAOYE International Holdings yesterday was suspended from trading in Hong Kong after news reports said Chairman Huang Maoru was under police investigation in relation to Huang Guangyu, formerly the richest man on the Chinese mainland.

Huang Guangyu, founder and former CEO of Gome Electrical Appliances Holding, is expected to appear in court by the end of this month after being detained for alleged market manipulation and bribery since November 2008.

At the request of Maoye International, trading in its shares has been suspended pending an announcement in relation to price sensitive information, the Shenzhen-based department store giant said yesterday in a statement filed to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The statement came after the company's shares plunged by as much as 16 percent during its trading on Tuesday and closed 11.23 percent lower.

The company did not provide further information or comments. Domestic media cited sources from Hong Kong saying Huang Maoru was being investigated due to his involvement with Huang Guangyu and Xu Zongheng, a former Shenzhen mayor who was also under surveillance by authorities in the probe on Huang Guangyu.

Yang Zhaodong, Huang Guangyu's lawyer, said earlier this month the charges facing his client will not be finalized until the prosecution phase begins.

Huang Maoru, 45, and his wife are ranked 46th on Hurun Rich List 2009 with a net worth of 14.5 billion yuan (US$2.12 billion).


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