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Thu, Oct 19, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Shanghai Electric executives under probe for graft

AGENCIES , SHANGHAI

Shanghai Electric Group Co (上海電氣集團), one of the city's biggest industrial groups, said yesterday that several executives are under investigation for allegedly violating Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rules, the latest reported suspects in a widening corruption scandal.

Xu Wei (徐偉), who holds a number of senior management positions at Shanghai Electric's units, is "assisting the commission with certain investigations," the company said in a statement posted on the Web site of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where its shares are traded.

The "commission" refers to the Commission for Discipline Inspection, the CCP's corruption watchdog.

Chan Yanming, a director of Shanghai Automation Instrumentation Co (上海自動化儀表), a Shanghai Electric subsidiary with shares traded in Shanghai, is also assisting with a probe because of "violation of personal discipline," according to a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday.

The scandal, centering on alleged illicit use of city pension and housing funds in potentially high risk real estate and toll road investments, felled the city's party chief, Chen Liangyu (陳良宇).

Chen, the highest-ranking official toppled in more than a decade, was ousted last month amid allegations he also violated party discipline and aided relatives and friends in business dealings.

State-owned Shanghai Electric, a maker of power generators and other big equipment, earlier said its former chairman, Wang Chengming (王成明), and a former vice president, Han Guozhang (韓國璋), were facing investigation for alleged "serious violations of discipline."

Zhang Rongkun, a former non-executive director and prominent businessman, was also implicated in the scandal over alleged misuse of city pension funds. Earlier this week, Zhang was expelled from a top government advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The investigation has also spread to the sporting world, implicating the host of the city's Formula One Grand Prix, state media said yesterday.

Yu Zhifei, general manager of Shanghai International Circuit Co, was "assisting investigations" into the scandal, the Shanghai Securities News reported. Senior officials of the company, contacted by telephone, declined to comment.

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