Beijing: Unimaginable just a couple of years ago but now China’s most high profile man in shipping is facing calls for his head. Zhang Yuangzhong, a lawyer in Beijing, is leading a shareholders’ revolt against China Cosco Holdings in order to get rid of Wei Jiafu, the chairman of the huge maritime group. If Zhang can get more than 10% of shareholders to call for a general shareholders meeting then by Chinese law China Cosco Holdings will be forced to call one within two months.
Zhang has hit out specifically at Cosco’s disastrous derivatives plays which lost it hundreds of millions of renminbi.
“China Cosco’s repeated giant losses convinced us that the company has been practically taken over by old Capt Wei,” Zhang said in a statement released over the weekend.
China Cosco faces a possible delisting from the Shanghai stock exchange if it posts a third consecutive year of losses in 2013.
Wei, 63, is already three years over the mandated retirement age for state-run firms. Following huge losses in the past couple of years – China Cosco Holdings is likely to report a net loss of more than $1bn for 2012 – a large management reshuffle saw Wei moved up to chairman and Ma Zehua become president. [05/02/13]