Fosun chairman returns home after assisting with investigation

A security guard works at the Shanghai Stock Exchange in Lujiazui Financial Area in Shanghai

Fosun missing-amid/79480/">suspended trading of its shares Friday after a business magazine reported the company was unable to contact Guo.

Fosun, which also has a 5 per cent stake in holiday firm Thomas Cook, later said Guo was assisting officials with an investigation, but it did not say whether he was the one being investigated.

It gave no further details but said Guo, the group's controlling shareholder, would continue to take part in running the company "via appropriate means". Chinese billionaire Guo is back at work after aiding authorities with an investigation and is attending an internal conference on Monday, according to people familiar with the matter. The tycoon reappeared in public at his company's annual meeting as Fosun attempts to dispel fears.

Nonetheless "We believe the faster growth in industrial production is transitory as the headwinds from industry overcapacity remain", Barclays said in a report on Monday.

Trading in the shares of Fosun International, the Chinese conglomerate which owns a number of insurance operations including Ironshore, commenced today at the request of the company after some clarity emerged regarding the whereabouts of the company's chairman.

Guo, 48, is China's 11th richest person, according to Forbes China Rich List 2015, with personal assets of $6.9 billion.

Wang Qunbin, the company's president, said the investigation concerned Guo personally, rather than the company.

Several of China's top executives have temporarily gone missing this year, in the wake of Beijing's crackdown on its financial sector.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said Guo's involvement in the probe had yet to affect Fosun's credit rating and outlook, but an "extended investigation" could negatively have an impact on the firm's access to funding and any pending acquisitions.

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical, another listed company controlled by Guo, plunged 12 per cent to HK$21.9 in Hong Kong, and 3.77 per cent in Shanghai to 24.26 yuan.

Founded in 1992, the Shanghai-based company is one of the biggest private conglomerates in China with businesses ranging from media and insurance to real estate and retail.

In other corporate news, Hong Kong-listed publishing and property investment company SCMP Group Ltd. said that Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) will pay 2.06 billion Hong Kong dollars ($266 million) for the company's media assets including its flagship South China Morning Post newspaper.



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