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China ex-billionaire goes missing, Casino Stock Plummets



(Bloomberg) – Shares of Landing International Development Ltd. suffered their biggest weekly crash after the casino operator said Chairman Yang Zhihui was unreachable.

The company officials failed to reach Yang since August 23, Landing Hong Kong Stock Exchange said Thursday. Caixin previously reported that Yang was a target of investigators dealing with China Huarong Asset Management Co., a state-run debtor manager whose former chairman, Lai Xiaomin, is being investigated for alleged corruption.

The news provided another shock to investors just two weeks after the company's $ 1.5 billion Philippine project was called into question. Landing fell 1

6 percent on Friday. The company has lost 42 percent of its value this week and now has a market capitalization of about $ 1.2 billion.

Since assuming office in 2013, Xi Jinping has led an anti-corruption campaign that has seized more than 1.5 million Communist parties

More recently, the campaign has moved into boardrooms to address the debt-financed expansion of China's largest companies stop. Leading managers of state-owned companies and billionaires from the private sector find that their wealth and connections are no longer sufficient to protect them from corruption and financial crime.

One unit of Huarong International Financial Holdings awarded $ 660 million HK $ million) to a holding company of Yang's in December 2016, debt personally guaranteed by Yang, according to a Hong Kong Exchange filing.

Questions surround the tycoon at a particularly bad time for landing. The company's shares have fallen since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte unexpectedly commissioned a review of the Landing casino treaty on August 7, the day the company laid the foundation for the project. Duterte described the contract as "defective".

Landing declined to comment while a representative from China Huarong did not respond to requests for comment.

Earlier this year, Landing opened its only Jeju Shinhwa World casino resort in Korea. Yang is the company's largest shareholder with a 50.5 percent stake. Landing, its main holding, has fallen 1.6 percent to around 74 percent since its April debut on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

It's not the first time a Chinese magnate has been lost to aggressive expansion. The financier Xiao Jianhua, who led the Tomorrow Holding Co.'s empire, was abducted by the Chinese authorities in early 2017, the South China Morning Post reported at the time. The newspaper quoted sources in mainland China as saying that Xiao had helped with investigations into "bribery and manipulation on the stock market."


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