China Renaissance CEO Bao Fan Missing, Stock Price Plummets
Billionaire Bao Fan, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of China Renaissance Holdings, has gone missing, according to a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The company said it “has been unable to contact” Bao Fan, who also serves as the controlling shareholder of the firm. The board noted that there is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Bao's absence is connected to the company's business or operations, which are running as usual.
Bao is a prominent personality in the Chinese tech sector and has contributed significantly to the development of numerous Chinese internet startups. In 2005, following a banking career at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, he established China Renaissance. The investment bank quickly rose to prominence in the technology industry of the nation, providing guidance to large companies with mergers and acquisitions, as well as public offerings, most notably Didi Global's debatable 2021 IPO in New York. The bank collaborated with big Chinese tech organizations such as Meituan, a food delivery service, and JD.com, an e-commerce behemoth. The bank is also involved in investing in China's tech industry, having provided financial support to companies such as electric car manufacturer Nio.
According to China Renaissance's 2021 annual report, Bao controls 49.4% of Renaissance shares. Admitting that it has been functioning in a demanding setting, the organization has branched out into dealmaking, private equity and fund management.
Bao's disappearance follows those of other high-profile business leaders in China, where it is not uncommon for executives to suddenly drop off the radar with little explanation. The absence of Fosun group founder Guo Guangchang, famously known as the Warren Buffet of China, was particularly noteworthy. He had gone missing for a few days in 2015. An anonymous source close to the situation informed Bloomberg News on Friday that the family of Bao has been informed that the investment banker is aiding in an investigation.
On Friday, shares in China Renaissance plummeted by 50%, only to recover to a 30% decrease by the end of the day following the news. It was not revealed by the company how long Mr Bao had been absent. According to Chinese business newswire Caixin, sources reported that no one had been able to reach him for a period of two days.
According to the filing from China Renaissance, the Group's Executive Committee will remain in charge of daily operations and management.
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1. “Top Chinese investment banker Bao Fan is latest CEO to go missing” CNN, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/17/investing/china-renaissance-ceo-bao-fan-missing-intl-hnk/index.html
2. “China's top tech deal maker ‘goes missing', rattling industry” The Australian Financial Review, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.afr.com/world/asia/china-s-top-tech-deal-maker-goes-missing-rattling-industry-20230217-p5clfk
3. “Billionaire Bao Fan, 52, is latest CEO to vanish sparking fears of a new Beijing crackdown” Daily Mail, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11763761/Billionaire-Bao-Fan-52-latest-CEO-vanish-sparking-fears-new-Beijing-crackdown.html
4. “China Renaissance Shares Fall After Chairman Bao Fan Went Missing” MarketWatch, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-renaissance-shares-fall-after-chairman-bao-fan-went-missing-26daeec1
5. “One of China’s top investment banks has a big problem: It can’t find its CEO” Fortune, 17 Feb. 2023, https://fortune.com/2023/02/17/bao-fan-missing-china-renaissance-shares/
6. “Top Tech Financier Goes Missing in China, Spooking Sector” RealMoney, 17 Feb. 2023, https://realmoney.thestreet.com/investing/global-equity/top-tech-financier-goes-missing-in-china-spooking-sector-16116272
7. “China Renaissance shares plunge after founder goes missing” Al Jazeera English, 20 Feb. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2023/2/20/china-renaissance-shares-plunge-after-founder-goes-missing
8. “A Highflying Chinese Financier Is Missing. Why It May Be a Warning for Alibaba.” Barron's, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.barrons.com/articles/alibaba-hong-kong-stock-price-meituan-didi-bao-fan-renaissance-cb36d5c1
9. “Bao Fan: Billionaire tech banker in China reported missing” BBC, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-64672095
10. “China Renaissance says founder missing in stock exchange filing” IR Magazine, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.irmagazine.com/reporting/china-renaissance-says-founder-missing-stock-exchange-filing
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