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Another Cosco executive probed by the authorities

Updated: 2013-11-08 22:06
By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai (

Xu Minjie, an executive director of China Cosco Holdings Ltd (Cosco), is being investigated by the authorities, the company said on Friday in an announcement.

The price of Hongkong-listed Cosco shares dived 5.04 percent to HK$3.58 on Friday while its Shanghai-listed stock price dropped 3.85 percent to 3 yuan.

Cosco said Friday that Xu is under investigation by "relevant departments" in China without disclosing any additional information of the investigation.

"The board believes that ... the investigation will not have a material adverse effect on the group. The business and operations of the group remain normal," said Cosco.

Xu, 54, joined Cosco in 1980 and became vice-president of Cosco Group in 2011. He also served as deputy general manager of Cosco Holdings and general manager of Cosco Pacific.

Some media reports said on Thursday that Wei Jiafu, former chairman of Cosco, is also under investigation and is restricted from leaving China as investigations into the group continue. Wei was removed from his post as China's most powerful man in shipping this July.

Cosco responded in a separate announcement on Friday saying the company would like to clarify that the rumors about Wei were "unfounded".

"We firmly implement the Party and the country's deployment of anti-corruption activity and sincerely accept the supervision of the public," the announcement said.

Cosco, which runs container shipping and ports businesses, has made losses for the past two years and has become one of China's most loss-making companies. For the first three quarters of 2013, the company recorded a loss of 2.03 billion yuan.

In July, former general manager of Cosco Dalian, Meng Qinglin, was arrested for corruption and former deputy general manager of Cosco Qingdao, Song Jun, was arrested for corruption in 2011.

China's latest anti-corruption drive has swept up a string of city and provincial leaders and corporate executives including the mayor of Nanjing and managers of PetroChina, one of the country's biggest oil groups.