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Soho China, the Chinese real estate developer led by billionaire couple Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, confirmed on Thursday mainland news reports that chief financial officer Ni Kuiyang is under investigation by the police for suspected insider trading in the company’s shares.
Soho China, in a statement, said that none of the directors or other senior officers of the company are aware of the circumstances surrounding the insider trading and that they are not directly involved in the investigation.
Ni, who is the chief financial officer of Soho China, will be unable to perform her duties until the investigation is completed, and her responsibilities have been transferred in the interim to the financial controller. The directors of Soho China believe that “the Investigation does not have a material adverse impact on business operations.”
Soho China's shares fell 2.8% in Hong Kong before the announcement, from HK$1.40 to below; they have fallen 67% in the past year after Blackstone, led by U.S. billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, ended discussions last September about purchasing a majority stake for $3 billion amid geopolitical tensions between the U.S and China.
Pan and Zhang are ranked as the 6th richest people in China on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List.
Soho China has developed a number of real estate projects in Shanghai and Beijing, which have made the couple and Zhang well-known figures in China.
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