Chinese finance group UCF denies controller faked own suicide

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/8 18:02:26

File photo: IC

Chinese financial services company UCF Group on Tuesday denied the alleged pseudocide of its controller Zhang Zhenxin by releasing a death certificate for Zhang, plus more details about the treatment process.

The company announced on Saturday on its WeChat account that Zhang had died of multiple organ failures related to alcohol dependence and acute pancreatitis in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on September 18.

Soon after the announcement, many investors of the group's peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Firstp2p alleged that Zhang had faked his own death to avoid repaying debts. An internet user named "antiguadefeng" posted on Sina Weibo on Monday that some investors found that Zhang had not been treated in that hospital on September 18 and 19.

The company's Tuesday statement said that Zhang's relatives called the UK emergency telephone line when he became ill and doctors and nurses came to his home, but he was later put into the intensive care unit at the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The company is now trying to get documents about Zhang's death from the British foreign ministry and the Chinese Embassy, the statement said.

Founded in 2003, UCF Group's businesses cover online payments, P2P lending, blockchain, digital health management and real estate. According to Beijing-based Chinese enterprise information provider Tianyancha, Zhang graduated from Dongbei University of Finance and Economics with a master's degree in economics and controlled 77 companies.

The group is facing unprecedented crises. In July, many Firstp2p investors found that they couldn't withdraw money from projects that were due. According to data released by the platform, it had about 115,000 lenders and a loan balance of 5.79 billion yuan ($813 million) at the end of July.

On July 23, Zhang said in an internal letter that the deceleration of the real economy had seriously affected the quality of the company's assets, reducing the value of collateral while increasing the difficulty of disposing of it, the Securities Times reported. 

"Our group has encountered unprecedented plight and crisis," he was quoted as saying.

UCF Group has three companies listed in Hong Kong - Chong Sing Holdings FinTech Group, HongDa Financial Holding and Ping An Securities Group (Holdings) - and all their shares are priced at less than HK$0.1 ($0.01). Their total market capitalization is less than HK$900 million.

The company said in a separate statement on Sunday that it has formed a temporary crisis management team to deal with debt problems.

Posted in: COMPANIES

blog comments powered by Disqus