Shares of electronics giant Gome were suspended in Hong Kong yesterday, as authorities investigated the company’s chairman Huang Guangyu on suspicions of share manipulation. Huang, who is China’s richest man (now that all the real estate barons have fallen hard this year), was detained last Wednesday in connection to share price manipulation of pharmaceutical and medical device-maker SD Jintai. Air China likely wishes its shares had been suspended on Monday. Its Hong Kong-listed stock fell 10.17%, while its Shanghai A-shares dropped 9.6% following news on Friday that the airline’s losses on fuel hedging tripled in one month.
President Hu Jintao continues on his international circuit. After his participation in the G20 in Washington and the APEC in Lima, Hu was in Athens, Greece on Monday for a three-day visit. His stopover coincided with a US$1 billion port deal between Chinese shipper Cosco Pacific and Piraeus, Greece’s main port. In Australia, meanwhile, PetroChina didn’t need a government presence to sign an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell to buy 40 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over the next 20 years. The LNG will be supplied from the Gorgon project in Western Australia, of which Shell owns a quarter.
And in the Saw That One Coming department, the long-since-relevant American rock band Guns N’ Roses’ recently released album Chinese Democracy has drawn the ire of at least some Communist Party outlets. Global Times, a state-controlled newspaper, slammed the album as “venomously attacking China” because of song lyrics that reference the banned Falun Gong sect and inclusion of anti-authoritarian themes. Officials at the Foreign Ministry, Culture Ministry and radio, TV and film regulator had nothing to say about the album, although some have found it curiously difficult to reach websites related to the album from China.