Mining firm Sichuan Hanlong Group’s former chairman Liu Han, his younger brother Liu Wei and 34 other connected persons went on trial Monday in Xianning in central China’s Hubei province after being charged with mafia-style crimes.
Liu Han led a gang that committed serious criminal offences and corrupted state officials, state news agency Xinhua reported, citing the prosecutors. The alleged offences include murder, imprisonment, intentional injury, illegal trading of weapons, blackmail, financial fraud and opening of underground casinos.
Liu Han had once figured on the list of China’s 500 wealthiest people. He hailed from a poor family in Sichuan but ended up as a mining and financial mogul in the province by forming a triad society and committing crimes, media reports said.
The trial is believed to be a curtain raiser for the announcement of the outcome of the corruption investigation into Zhou Yongkang, China’s former domestic security czar and a retired standing member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee politburo, observers say. Zhou is said to have been Liu Han’s boss behind the scenes.
Reuters reported last week that a total of 90 billion yuan (US$14.71 billion) of Zhou’s assets have been confiscated since the former Chinese leader and related parties were arrested and investigated. The assets include 37 billion yuan of deposits and 51 billion yuan of bonds and 300 pieces of real estate worth 1.7 billion yuan.
The huge scale of the asset seizures has made the Zhou case the largest anti-corruption scandal in CPC history. Zhou has been under virtual house arrest since the end of last year, according to media reports.
Guangdong pension fund said to earn 10 bln yuan
Guangdong’s 100 billion yuan (US$16.08 billion) pension fund has earned nearly 10 billion yuan in the two years under the management of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), China Securities Journal reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources. The annualized yield was 6.73 percent in 2012, higher than the increase in the consumer price index, other media reports said. Chinese regulators are studying Guangdong’s pension investment model to boost the yields of other pensions funds across the country. The provincial government is expected to keep the fund under NSSF management.
Big four banks pay at least 7% in dividend
Nearly eight in 10 of the 1,277 listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen that have announced their annual results are paying dividends, Shanghai Securities News reported Tuesday. Sixty have declared annual dividends higher than the 3.5 percent return from one-year fixed bank deposits and 28 have proposed dividends of 5 percent or more. Nine of these high-payout companies are banks, with the four major state-owned lenders paying dividends of at least 7 percent, the report said.