PetroChina supplier says chairman ‘assisting probe’


Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - Page 15

The chairman of a Chinese oil engineering firm is helping the authorities with an unspecified investigation, the company said yesterday, amid a widening corruption probe into PetroChina (中國石油天然氣), one of its major customers.

Hong Kong-listed Wison Engineering Services Co Ltd (惠生工程) said chairman and controlling shareholder Hua Bangsong (華邦嵩) “is assisting relevant authorities” who were conducting an investigation after sharp falls in Wison’s share price.

Wison did not elaborate on its filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, which it said was issued after Chinese media reports about its business ties with PetroChina. Hua could not be reached for comment.

PetroChina is Asia’s top oil and gas producer and one of the world’s most valuable listed energy companies.

The government said on Sunday it was investigating Jiang Jiemin (蔣潔敏), a former chairman of PetroChina and also parent company China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), for “serious discipline violations,” shorthand generally used to describe graft. Similar investigations were announced into four other executives last week, three from PetroChina and one from CNPC.

Wison’s share price has fallen nearly 30 percent since those investigations were announced. Its stock was suspended on Monday, although the company said it was operating normally.

The company provided engineering, procurement and construction services to PetroChina and other domestic and foreign companies in China in the past few years.

Its Web site shows many members of its board and senior management team are Chinese oil industry veterans, including former officials at CNPC.

The PetroChina projects included refining and petrochemical complexes in the southwestern province of Sichuan and northwestern region of Xinjiang, and a refining project in the northeastern city of Dalian, according to information posted on Wison’s Web site.

Its revenue from contracts with PetroChina and its subsidiaries in the first half of this year was insignificant, Wison said. PetroChina was one of its biggest customers in prior years, according to the filings.

Hua had a 78.13 percent stake in Wison as of June 30. The company has a market value of US$1.04 billion.