Sat, Sep 25, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Embattled CEO leaps to his death

`KING OF VIETNAM' CX Technology chairman Lawrence Ting jumped from a 15th-floor window on Thursday shortly after a meeting with his lawyers


Local entrepreneur Lawrence Ting (丁善理) apparently committed suicide on Thursday night amid investigations into his alleged involvement in securities fraud and embezzlement.

Ting, 65, jumped from a 15th-floor window shortly after a meeting with his lawyers in an office building on Jenai Road in Taipei.

He was the chairman of both Central Trading and Development Corp (中央貿易開發) and speaker manufacturer CX Technology Corp (錩新科技).

His death came as investigators probed claims of possible insider trading of CX Technology shares as well as the alleged misappropriation of around NT$7 billion from Central Trading and Development.

CX Technology shares plunged to a record low of NT$12.95 yesterday on the Taiwan Stock Exchange owing to fears of possible financial problems.

Ting's wife, Fei Tsung-ching (費宗清), told reporters late Thursday night that her husband committed suicide to prove his innocence.

Central Trading and Development spokesman Sung Yun-chien (宋雲堅) dismissed speculation that Ting's death was related to the police probes.

A fight for dominance within the company might have had more to do with it, Sung said.

Chen Ching-chih (陳清志), who owns a one-third stake in Central Trading and Development, has been vying for control of the company over the past six months, according to Sung.

In May, Chen filed an embezzlement suit with the Taipei Prosecutor's Office against Ting after a row about the distribution of a cash dividend to shareholders, Sung said.

Ting had been dubbed the "King of Vietnam" after pioneering investment in an industrial park and power plants in Vietnam in the early 1990s via Central Trading and Development.

The corporation still has several investments in Vietnam, including a power generation company and a property development venture.

The property development venture, Phu My Hung Corp, is 70-percent owned by Central Trading and Development. Tan Thuan Industrial Promotion Co, a state enterprise based in Ho Chi Minh City, owns the remaining 30 percent.

Phu My Hung is known for the new Saigon South development tract, which boasts upmarket villas, condominiums and office buildings. The company last month filed a lawsuit against Vietnam's Ministry of Planning and Investment over a preferential tax rate dispute. In addition to the Saigon South development, the venture has also built the adjacent Tan Thuan industrial park.

Ting was given an award by Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai in 1997 for his contributions to the country's economic development.

Ting was also known for his ties with the sporting community and was a former deputy chairman of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee. He led the Taiwanese delegation to the 1976 Olympic games in Montreal, Canada.

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