Web Date: June 28, 2007
Sinopec Chairman Suddenly Steps Down
Chen Tonghai resigned on June 22 as a director and chairman of the board of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec).
In a series of statements about the move, the refiner and petrochemical producer said Chen resigned for "personal reasons," without elaborating. It also said that the new chairman will be Su Shulin, who is now a senior manager at Sinopec's state-owned parent China Petrochemical Corp. Before joining Sinopec, Su was a director of PetroChina, another leading Chinese oil company.
In a separate announcement to Hong Kong investors, Sinopec said it is not aware of any other information of a price-sensitive nature concerning Chen's resignation.
This last statement is effectively Sinopec's denial that Chen is under arrest. Since May, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, one of four exchanges on which Sinopec is listed, has required that companies limit their use of the phrase "personal reasons" to illness, bereavement, and other genuine personal difficulties that directors face.
There have been several media reports, including one in Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, that Chen is under arrest for reasons that are unclear.
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