SHANGHAI: CEFC China Energy has dismissed a media report that said the oil and gas firm’s high-flying chairman was under investigation, insisting it had “no factual basis” and adding that the company was operating normally.
Chinese financial news magazine Caixin had reported on Thursday that CEFC’s chairman Ye Jianming, who has spearheaded an aggressive global expansion including an agreement last year to buy 14 percent of Russian oil giant Rosneft, was being investigated.
Caixin gave no source or details on the nature of the investigation, but the report sent CEFC-related shares tumbling.
CEFC dismissed the claim.
“We have noticed the irresponsible report certain media had regarding Mr. Ye Jianming,” the company said in a statement issued Thursday.
It added that the “report has no factual basis.”
CEFC China quickly grew into a global energy powerhouse under Ye, expanding into Eastern Europe, Africa and the Gulf States.
Caixin said that Ye was asked last September to help in corruption investigations targeting a former provincial-level Communist Party official, Wang Sanyun, who had previously assisted in the listing of CEFC’s Shenzhen-listed subsidiary.
But the magazine did not clarify whether there was any connection between that case and the claim that Ye was under investigation.
The Chinese version of Caixin’s story has since been removed from its website, though English-language reports remained accessible as of Friday afternoon.
Hong Kong-listed shares of affiliate firm CEFC Hong Kong Financial Investment Company regained some of their lost ground on Friday, rising more than three percent, but Shenzhen-listed CEFC Anhui International Holding lost another 3.5 percent by mid-afternoon.