China Investigates Shenhua Officials for Unspecified Violations

Two Shenhua Group Corp. officials and a former vice-president of a Shenhua unit have been investigated in the past 24 hours for unspecified violations of the law as China campaigns to root out corruption.

Hua Zeqiao, the former vice president of listed unit China Shenhua Energy Co., is suspected of disciplinary breaches, according to a statement today on the website of the nation’s anti-corruption agency.

Zhang Wenjiang, an assistant general manager at the group that mines and trades in coal, and Liu Baolong, a safety-inspection official with Shenhua’s Ningxia-based coal unit, were also investigated, the group said yesterday in a statement on its Weibo blog.

Meng Jian, Shenhua Group’s Beijing-based spokesman, did not answer two calls to his office seeking comment.

China is intensifying an anti-corruption crackdown that has spread beyond the oil and gas sector. Earlier this year, the chairman of China Resources Holdings Co. was probed after local media repeated accusations a unit of the state-owned company deliberately overpaid for coal assets. The vice chairman of Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., the nation’s biggest producer of the metal, has also been investigated for graft.

Ling Jihua, a vice-chairman at China’s top political advisory body and a former top aide to retired President Hu Jintao, is under investigation for alleged serious disciplinary violations, the discipline inspection commission said yesterday in a statement.

Shenhua Energy shares dropped 1.7 percent to HK$23.05 today in Hong, compared with a 0.3 percent decline in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

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