Wealth Management

Chinese billionaire arrested

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Chinese billionaire retailer Huang Guangyu, 39, has been arrested on suspicion of market manipulation.

Chinese billionaire retailer Huang Guangyu, 39, has been arrested on suspicion of market manipulation.

Huang Guangyu, who made his fortune building up China’s largest home appliance chain, Gome Electrical Appliances, was ranked two by US magazine Forbes in its 2008 list of rich Chinese with a net worth of US$2.69 billion. Gome has more than 1300 stores and employs 300,000 people.

Hong Kong-listed shares in Gome were suspended yesterday, according to a statement the retailer made to the stock exchange. The suspension came “pending the release of an announcement in relation to price sensitive information”.

The statement followed a report on the website of the Chinese state-run finance magazine Caijing, which said that Guangyu, Gome’s chairman, had been detained last Wednesday.

Gome’s suppliers include Sharp, Panasonic, Qingdao Haier and Skyworth Digital Holdings.

Reports suggest that Guangyu was detained over alleged manipulation of the share price of Shanghai-listed medicine producer Shandong Jintai Group, controlled by his elder brother Huang Junqin.

Jintai Group Co also halted share trading in Shanghai.

In a report in the Shanghai Daily yesterday, a Gome company spokesperson says its business has not been affected by media reports that its chairman was detained by police for questioning over alleged market manipulation.

“Gome is a mature, well-administered company. Its business and management all are operating normally,” company spokesman He Yangqing said yesterday.

“The company performed excellently over the first nine months, and management is full of confidence about future growth,” he said.

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