Missing top Chinese banker Bao Fan is currently cooperating with relevant Chinese authorities conducting an investigation, his bank said.
This is the first time China Renaissance Holdings has given a reason for the disappearance of its founder who was reported missing 10 days ago. The news led to a 50% fall in the bank’s shares.
The mainland China-based boutique bank, which shared the information in an exchange filing on Sunday, gave no details about the investigation.
“The Board would like to reiterate that the business and operations of the Group are continuing normally,” the bank said in the exchange filing.
Reuters previously reported, citing sources, that authorities took Bao away earlier this month to assist in an investigation into a former colleague, Cong Lin, the company’s former president.
The star dealmaker’s disappearance is the latest in a series of cases of high-profile Chinese executives going missing with little explanation during a sweeping anti-corruption campaign spearheaded by President Xi Jinping.
In 2015 alone, at least five executives became unreachable without prior notice to their companies. One of them was Fosun Group Chairman Guo Guangchang, who Fosun later said was assisting with investigations regarding a personal matter.
Bao’s disappearance also comes against the backdrop of more than two years of sweeping regulatory crackdown on technology companies.
Bao, also China Renaissance’s controlling shareholder, started the firm in 2005 as a two-person team, seeking to match capital-hungry startups with venture capitalist and private equity investors.
The firm later expanded into services including underwriting, sales and trading.
Known to be well connected in the corporate world, Bao was involved with tech mergers including the tie-up of ride-hailing firms Didi and Kuaidi, food delivery giants Meituan and Dianping, as well as travel platforms Ctrip and Qunar.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena