Citic Pacific shares plunged more than 55% in Hong Kong Tuesday after the company warned of a huge potential loss from unauthorized currency bets, the South China Morning Post reported. Shares of the Hong Kong arm of China International Trust and Investment Corp, the mainland’s biggest state-owned investment company – which had been suspended from trading on Monday – fell to HK$6.52 (US$0.84), shrinking its market capitalization to HK$14.3 billion (US$1.84 billion), less than the amount it says it stands to lose. Brokerage firms cut their ratings on the company and their targets for its share price. Meanwhile, Citic Pacific demoted Frances Yung Ming-fong, director, group finance and daughter of Chairman Larry Yung Chi-kin, and cut her salary for her involvement in the currency bets amid questions about her job title. Citic Pacific earlier announced the resignations of Group Finance Director Leslie Chang Li-hsien and Financial Controller Chau Chi-yin.
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