Citic Resources Starts Legal Action Over Port Material

Citic Resources Holdings Ltd., the commodities trader controlled by China’s largest state-owned investment company, started legal action to recover materials missing from Qingdao port.

Citic Resources filed a claim against the port warehouse operator in the Qingdao Maritime Court seeking confirmation it owns alumina and copper held at the port, it said today in a statement. It wants the materials released and delivered, or compensation if they can’t be recovered.

Qingdao port is counting industrial metals held in some of its bonded warehouses to determine if they match the amount in documents pledged to banks as collateral for loans, three people with knowledge of the probe said on June 5. The port is concerned that there has been multiple counting of some batches of metals including copper and aluminum, said the people.

Citic Resources said on June 18 it’s missing more than half its alumina stored at Qingdao port. The company was unable to locate 123,446 metric tons of the 223,270 tons of alumina it holds title documents for at the port, the company said that day, adding it also has title for 7,486 tons of copper there.

“Until the status of the investigation is clarified and the group has conducted its own investigation, the company is not able to accurately assess the impact on the group’s alumina and copper stored at Qingdao port,” Citic Resources said today. The group is not the subject of the investigation at the port, it said. It didn’t name the port warehouse operator it had filed the claim against.

A woman who answered the telephone at the Qingdao Maritime Court’s office in Qingdao city confirmed it had accepted the claim from Citic Resources and said Qingdao Port International Co. is the defendant in the claim. She declined to give her name or send a copy of the court document.

Qingdao Port International hasn’t received any form of legal notice from the court, the company said by e-mail, without elaborating.

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