Hong Kong Probes Hanergy for Market Manipulation, Reuters Says

Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd., the Chinese solar equipment maker that plunged 47 percent on Wednesday, is being investigated by Hong Kong’s securities regulator for market manipulation, Reuters reported, citing an unidentified person it said was familiar with the situation.

Ernest Kong, a spokesman for Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, declined to comment. Hanergy officials weren’t available to comment after office hours, according to a phone operator at the company’s headquarters in Beijing.

The stock fell to HK$3.91 in Hong Kong before being suspended at 10:40 a.m., erasing HK$144.3 billion ($18.6 billion) of its market value. Before the tumble, the stock had surged more than six-fold in the past year amid questions from analysts and investors about the company’s revenue sources. About 61 percent of Hanergy Thin Film’s sales derive from Beijing-based parent Hanergy Holding Group, the listed company said in March.

Hanergy Thin Film’s market value had at one point risen to more then HK$300 billion. That’s larger than Japan’s Sony Corp. and almost seven times the size of First Solar Inc., the biggest U.S. solar company.