Reports about oil tycoon Ye Jianming lack factual basis: company

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/1 20:38:39

Reports that oil magnate Ye Jianming was detained lacked a "factual basis," according to a post that appeared late Thursday on his company's official website.

In a statement around midnight Thursday, China's fourth-largest oil conglomerate CEFC China Energy Company attacked "irresponsible" reports of Ye, saying that they lacked a "factual basis" and were "unapproved and unverified" by Ye. 

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post on Thursday reported that Ye had been detained, as did Beijing-based Caixin news magazine earlier on Thursday. 

The Chinese version of the Caixin report was removed from the Beijing-based financial magazine's website a few hours after release, but the English version remained as of press time. 

Ye, founder and chairman of CEFC China Energy Company, was ranked second on Fortune Magazine's 2016 list of "40 under 40." His company ranks 222nd on the Fortune Global 500 and is set to take a $9 billion stake in Russia's state-controlled oil company Rosneft. 

Shares in related companies in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shenzhen tumbled Thursday and the trading of some bonds in Shanghai was suspended, signaling increased investor anxiety following the seizure of Anbang Insurance Group in February, Bloomberg reported. 

CEFC Anhui International Holding Company, a subsidiary of CEFC China Energy and a listed company on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, announced Thursday that Ye is not directly related to CEFC Anhui International and is not the actual controller of the company. It said business was carrying on as usual.

In November last year, the US Justice Department arrested former foreign minister of Senegal Cheikh Gadio and Hong Kong's former Home Secretary Patrick Chi Ping Ho, claiming they had sent huge bribes to high-level officials in Chad and Uganda to secure a business advantage for a Chinese oil company. 

The company was not identified in the announcement or the complaint filed in New York federal district court, but details in the complaint pointed to CEFC. 

Ho is the deputy chairman of a Hong Kong-based organization the China Energy Fund Committee, which is funded by CEFC.

Fortune Magazine described Ye's success buying oil assets in his twenties and securing loans from State-owned banks to expand abroad. 

Born June 5, 1977, Ye allegedly holds a PhD degree in political science and studied in Kyonggi University in South Korea, Caixin reported. 

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