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Senior Chinese executives unreachable amid probe

One of China's largest securities companies, Citic, has said it's unable to contact two of its top investment bankers. The announcement came amid media reports on more investigations into illegal trading.

Two more executives at China's largest stock brokerage, Citic Securities, could not be located on Monday, according to a company statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The two top bankers declared missing were Citic head of investment banking Chen Jun and the head of global investing, Yan Jian Lin.

The "South China Morning Post" said a total of six of the broker's top eight managers were now missing amid media reports they had been detained or were helping police with a probe into the company.

Who's to blame?

The government in Beijing had said financial services corporations shared responsibility for a stock market tumble that saw the Shanghai index lose about a third of its value within weeks this summer.

Two weeks ago, the China Securities Regulatory Commission notified Citic that it was to be investigated for violating the rules on securities management.

Another large brokerage in the Asian country, Guosen Securities, was also under investigation for similar charges.

Both Citic and Guosen watched their own share prices fall by the intraday maximum of 10 percent on November 27, a day after the probes were announced.

Critics of the investigations acknowledge that the stock market crash in question had partly been fueled by private investors buying equity on credit. But they insist the government is looking for a scapegoat to blame for a market correction that was inevitable.

hg/nz (dpa, AP)

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