Daily Management Review

After Having ‘Disappeared” Since Thursday, Billionaire Head of China's Fosun Re-emerges


After Having ‘Disappeared” Since Thursday, Billionaire Head of China's Fosun Re-emerges
After giving “disappeared’ from public view for quite some time, the billionaire chairman of Fosun Group, one of China's biggest privately held conglomerates, re-emerged on Monday.
Guo Guangchang was accused to have ‘disappeared’ in connection with an investigation by authorities, Chinese media said.
He was spotted attending the Fosun Group's annual meeting Monday morning, picture of Guo Guangchang, dubbed "China's Warren Buffett", was seen in pictures posted by business magazine Caijing.
"There will be a better Fosun next year", the publication quoted Guo as saying during a speech at the event. The billionaire however did not mention anything about the investigation.
Two of the group's listed arms in Shanghai said in statements last week the 48-year-old was "assisting in certain investigations" conducted by mainland authorities after Guo went out of contact since Thursday.
Guo was able to take part in its decision making, the statements stressed, adding that the probes had no "material adverse impact" on the finances or operations of the parent company.
Guo has "finalised" assisting in the inquiries and "returned home safely", Caijing said on Monday.
Following a stock market rout that rocked global markets over the summer, Chinese authorities gave been trying to target the financial sector as part of a sweeping anti-graft campaign. However there was still enough confusion about what the investigations related to Guo was all about.
Fosun spokeswoman Valentina Wu declined to comment when contacted by the media.
With business interests in property, finance, pharmaceuticals, steel and entertainment, the Fosun Group is one of China's biggest private companies. The group has been aggressively buying assets in Europe and North America, including Club Med.
According to Chinese media citing social media postings, Guo was taken away by police at a Shanghai airport last week.
However there were other media reports that said that Guo was being probed in connection to former Shanghai vice mayor and director of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone Ai Baojun. The former vice mayor is being investigated since last month for "severe disciplinary violations", a euphemism for corruption by the Communist Party's internal anti-graft body.
Ai's wife, who died of kidney failure a week before Ai fell, was allegedly investigated on suspicion of manipulating the stock market.
A long list of officials, including the country's former security chief Zhou Yongkang were ensnared after a much hyped and publicized anti-corruption campaign was launched soon after coming to power by Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping.
With a net worth of $5.6 billion, Guo is China's 17th richest person. Fosun International, Fosun Group's flagship subsidiary, has net assets of 50 billion yuan ($7.8 billion).
Earlier this year renowned French holiday company Club Med was bought over by Fosun International. The company also became part of the consortium that acquired Canadian entertainment juggernaut Cirque du Soleil. It also has a stake in British-based tour operator Thomas Cook.
Guo is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. This is a debating chamber that is part of the Communist Party-controlled governmental structure.

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