20 October 2019
A series of top-level exits at AVIC Joy has left its minority shareholders befuddled.
A series of top-level exits at AVIC Joy has left its minority shareholders befuddled.

What’s going on at AVIC Joy?

Something must have gone terribly wrong at AVIC Joy Holdings.

The tiny listed firm, formerly known as China Environmental Investment Holdings, has had three chairmen in the space of just about four weeks.

The company, which is involved in natural gas and property-related businesses, has just announced that Ren Yunan has resigned as chairman and executive director with immediate effect.

Ren quit on Friday after being in the post for less than a month, according to a stock-exchange filing on Monday.

The news left the company’s minority shareholders scratching their heads as they wondered what might have happened inside the firm that had “happiness” and “joy” embedded in its name.

Ren became chairman only in November, taking the top job following the resignation of Zhu Dong.

Quitting the post abruptly, Ren said he made the decision as he was “disappointed” with the behavior of some directors and shareholders. 

In his resignation notification that was made public, Ren wrote that after he took up the post he sought to understand the financial conditions of the firm, “endeavor to take forward the financing, resolve the deteriorating cash flow and liquidity situations, and … protect the interests of the public shareholders.”

“I am disappointed with the management and administration ability of the company, and disappointed with the behaviors of individual directors and shareholders obstructing the normal business of the company, which is rogue, senseless and ignorant.”

Making his hostility clear to AVIC Joy’s existing team, Ren added that he reserves “the right to express views and report situations to the public, regulatory authorities and state-owned assets disciplinary department.”

In its regulatory filing, as opposed to the usual line, in such cases, of declaring that the resignation of the top official is not related to any disagreement, AVIC Joy merely stated it has not received a confirmation from Ren that he had any disagreement — which he obviously did — that needs to be brought to the attention of shareholders.

Ren was the fourth member to jump ship within a month of service.

And that is not all. AVIC Joy announced that five more top officials — the chief executive, two executive directors and two non-executive directors — also tendered their resignation letters to the board.

The company said it immediately appointed seven directors to the board. One of the directors, Li Chengning, will now serve as the new chairman.

Last month, AVIC Joy announced a HK$286 million one-for-two rights issue after a third year of consecutive losses.

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EJ Insight writer