Aluminium firm Zhongwang seeks legal advice after US charges

In this May 8, 2009 file photo, Liu Zhongtian, the Chinese billionaire chairman of the China Zhongwang Holdings Limited, celebrates at the company's listing ceremony in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. (AP)
Updated 05 August 2019

Aluminium firm Zhongwang seeks legal advice after US charges

  • In its statement, Zhongwang said its board believed the legal proceedings had so far had no material adverse impact on the company’s operations or its financial condition

BEIJING: China Zhongwang Holdings said on Sunday it was seeking legal advice after the company and its controlling shareholder, Liu Zhongtian, were indicted on charges they evaded $1.8 billion of tariffs by smuggling aluminum into the US.
Zhongwang said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that it and Liu had still not been served with any notice in relation to the legal proceedings.
“The company takes seriously any allegations that it may have violated any law, and is seeking legal advice in relation to the alleged proceeding,” it said in the statement, adding it would keep shareholders informed of further developments.
Zhongwang is based in northeast China’s Liaoning province and makes aluminum products for the automotive and construction industries.
US prosecutors have alleged that companies affiliated with Liu used ports in the Los Angeles area to import aluminum from China that was disguised as a finished product not subject to duties, before making bogus sales.

FASTFACT

• Zhongwang says operations, finances not impacted.

• Firm could face monetary penalties.

• Company and founder Liu Zhongtian indicted in US.

• Zhongwang makes aluminum products for the automotive and construction industries.

Zhongwang has previously described smuggling allegations as “misleading” and “without any factual basis.”
Liu stepped down as Zhongwang chairman in 2017 but remains its largest shareholder with a 74.16 percent stake, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
“If the allegations were proven in court, the company could face monetary penalties,” Zhongwang said in the statement.
Zhongwang’s share price fell by 14.2 percent on Thursday, after the indictment was reported, and fell a further 7.6 percent on Friday to end the week on HK$3.18 ($0.4062), its lowest close since October 2015.
In its statement, Zhongwang said its board believed the legal proceedings had so far had no material adverse impact on the company’s operations or its financial condition.
“The company continues to operate as normal,” it said, adding that a further announcement would be published if the situation changes.


Saudi Arabia promotes investment opportunities with Japan’s business leaders  

Updated 47 min 17 sec ago

Saudi Arabia promotes investment opportunities with Japan’s business leaders  

  • Saudi Arabia and Japan exchanged 12 MoUs in the fields of education, science, technology, and banking and finance

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia opened its doors for Japanese investment during a Saudi-Japan business forum held in Tokyo on Wednesday amid growing economic ties between the two nations.  

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) discussed tourism and entertainment investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia with Japan’s business leaders and government officials during the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

During the forum, 12 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were exchanged in fields of education, science, technology, and banking and finance.

The MoUs include Toyobo and Saline Water Conversion Corporation and Arabian Japanese Membrane Company which will aim to manage disposed brine water generated from seawater desalination plants for environmental sustainability.

Two Saudi and Japanese universities signed MoUs for academic exchange on research. While SAGIA signed MoU with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation to enhance investment opportunities.

“Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners, and businesses from across our countries have a strong track record of working together,” Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce and Investment, Majid Al-Qasabi said at the Forum.

“Today’s Forum reflects the success and strength of this enduring partnership. We established the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive and facilitate continued private sector involvement by establishing joint-ventures between entities across our respective countries,” he added.

These investments come alongside a broad series of economic reforms, which are enabling rapid growth in foreign investment in Saudi Arabia. This is part of the Kingdom’s efforts to diversify its economy as outlined in Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia has moved up three positions to the 36th place, globally, through its efforts to diversify the Kingdom’s economy, according to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum.

The total number of foreign investor licenses issued in the first half of 2019 was more than double the number issued the same period a year before.

“We believe that the future prosperity of the Kingdom depends on fostering even closer ties with our strategic partners across the globe, and we look forward to welcoming these companies as they take part in the historic transformation of our economy,” Al-Qasabi said. 

Memoranda of Understanding exchanged at the Forum include:

  • University of Tokyo and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) – the academic exchange for research in renewable energy and petrochemicals
  • Kyoto University Institute for Advance Study (KUIAS) and King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST)– to promote the exchange of scientific materials, publications, and information and exchange of faculty members and researchers, students and joint research
  • University of Tokyo and King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) – to collaborate on the research and the next generation of organic and soft electronics and efficient generation of hydrogen
  • Japan Patent Office (JPO) and Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) – to promote the exchange of data and best practices in the field of intellectual property protection including trademarks and patents
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) – to enhance investment opportunities between Japan and Saudi Arabia
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) – a framework for cooperation to enhance investment from Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Toyobo and Saline Water Conversion Corporation and Arabian Japanese Membrane Company – to develop innovative membrane technologies and manage disposed brine water generated from seawater desalination plants for environmental sustainability
  • Sojitz Corporation and AIZAWA Concrete Corporation and Al Saedan for Development – to explore opportunities and utilize 3D printing technology and local materials for housing construction
  • Cyberdyne Group and Abdul Latif Jameel Investments – to collaborate and enhance Cybernic treatment and contribute to the social development of the Kingdom.
  • Saudi-Japan Vision Office Riyadh (VRO) and National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) – to expand collaboration and enable investments in the field of industry, mining, energy and logistics
  • TBM and SABIC – to build a circular economy using LIMEX
  • Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation and Saudi-Japanese Automobile High Institute – to provide support and training for human capacity development for Saudi youth in the automotive sector