Pearl Oriental Executives Questioned by Anti-Graft Agency

Pearl Oriental Oil Ltd. said that Chairman Wong Yuk-kwan, a deputy chairman and an executive director were questioned by Hong Kong’s anti-graft agency in connection with an investigation into alleged bribery offenses.

Wong, Deputy Chairman Lew Mon-hung and Executive Director Cheung Kwok-yu have been released on bail by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, haven’t been charged and are free to travel, Pearl Oriental, based in Hong Kong, said in a filing to the city’s stock exchange yesterday.

“The company has been required to provide certain information to the ICAC but as far as the board is aware, neither of the company nor its subsidiaries was the subject of the investigation,” Pearl Oriental said in the filing.

Pearl Oriental’s board has formed a special committee to review matters that may arise out of the allegations, and company operations are normal, according to the filing. The executive directors concerned will abstain from voting in respect of any matters related to allegations. The stock, which was halted from trading on Jan. 8, remains suspended until further notice, the company said.

As part of the investigation, an administrative manager was also questioned by the ICAC and released without charge, the company said.

Wong is also the company’s largest shareholder, with a consolidated stake of 36.5 percent, according to data from the Hong Kong stock exchange. Lew has a 5.6 percent stake.

The company also announced the appointment of Mohamad Ajami as a deputy chairman and executive director and Hilal Al-Busaidi as executive director, as well as a possible investment in the oil and gas industry in Russia.

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