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Kelon Says Board Dismisses Chairman

Refrigerator maker Guangdong Kelon Electrical Holdings Co. said Monday its board of directors dismissed the company's chairman, Gu Chujun.

Kelon said in a statement Gu was unable to carry out his responsibilities as chairman because he had been detained by the police on suspicion of economic crimes. It said vice chairman Liu Congmeng would act as company chairman.

The firm said Aug. 2 that five of its senior executives, including its chairman, were under police investigation and had been detained on suspicion of economic crimes.

China's securities regulator later said that top executives at Kelon had embezzled funds from the company and overstated its profit.

Kelon's major shareholder is Guangdong Greencool Enterprise Development Co., in which Gu holds a 60 percent stake. Greencool Enterprise is a unit of the Greencool Group, which was founded by Gu.

Two local courts, one in Jiangxi Province and one in Shenzhen, have recently frozen some assets of Kelon and one of its units. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China will transfer a 6.9 percent stake in Kelon to China Huarong Asset Management Corp., according to announcements from Kelon earlier this month.

Kelon's A shares have been suspended from trading since July 29 pending "price-sensitive information." It hasn't said when its A shares, which last traded at 1.94 yuan (US$0.24), would resume trading.

Kelon's Hong Kong-listed shares have been suspended from trading since June 16.

(Shenzhen Daily August 16, 2005)

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