Shanxi Coal Sues Qingdao Probe Company Over Metals Bills

A Chinese company under the spotlight in a financing probe at the eastern port of Qingdao is being sued by Shanxi Coal International Energy Group Co. over payments for industrial metals and alumina.

Decheng Mining, its parent and four other companies have so far failed to pay $120.4 million and 352.5 million yuan ($56.6 million) to the mining company based in the northern province of Shanxi, according to a statement to the stock exchange yesterday. Shanxi shares dropped as much as 3.8 percent to 3.58 yuan, as the Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.4 percent.

Shanxi Coal didn’t say how much of the money due was owed by Decheng Mining and its controlling shareholder Dezheng Resources. Two calls each to Decheng and Dezheng by Bloomberg News seeking comment went unanswered today.

The Qingdao investigation focuses on the two companies and their owner, Singaporean national Chen Jihong, according to two bankers assisting with the probe. Chen has been detained, according to Singapore’s foreign ministry. He is also involved in a separate inquiry in northwestern Gansu province, said the bankers, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly.

Chinese public security authorities are investigating whether copper and aluminum stockpiles may have been illicitly repledged multiple times as collateral for loans.

— With assistance by Alfred Cang

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