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Ajisen to Resume Trading Aug. 15 After Government Investigation

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Ajisen (China) Holdings Ltd., the restaurant chain being investigated by the government for how it discloses the nutritional content of its soup, said it will resume trading on Aug. 15.

The company, which was suspended from trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Aug. 5, also disclosed the production process and supply chain for its soup, in a filing yesterday. It also said it closed a processing plant earlier this month in the eastern city of Xiamen and shifted production to a facility in Dongguan in southern China’s Guangdong province.

The closure was related to an expired catering license and “no penalty in respect of food safety has been imposed on Xiamen Processing Centre by regulatory authorities,” the filing said.

The Hong Kong-based restaurant chain is assisting an investigation by China’s commerce ministry into the “inappropriate” description of the nutritional-content test of its soup base.

Ajisen had dropped 40 percent since July 22, the last trading day before China Daily, citing other media reports, said it used powder and instant seasoning to make its soup. The company said on July 26 it used pig bones to make a soup concentrate that shops dilute.

The restaurant operator in an Aug. 11 filing apologized “for the concern in relation to the calcium content of the soup base caused by our previous misinterpretation” of the report from China Agricultural University.

Ajisen pledged to comply with applicable laws and to make only “true and legitimate” statements in its food advertisements. It also promised to assume liability for any food-safety problems and not to use unauthorized or excess additives.

To contact Bloomberg News reporter on this story: Joshua Fellman in Vancouver at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Longid at

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