(Yicai Global) March 21 -- The founder of Hans Precious Metals, one of China’s top five precious metals refiners, has gone missing after his businesses racked up debts of more than CNY1 billion (USD150 million).
Li Yongmin left Shanghai on Dec. 10, and his wife and children departed on Dec. 29, Yicai Global learned. He is believed to have gone initially to Singapore.
Hans Precious Metals, its affiliate Jiangxi Wenhao New Materials, and other connected businesses owed a total of more than CNY1 billion, but have less than CNY100 (USD15 million) in realizable assets, a court in Shangrao, Jiangxi province, said on March 17 at a bankruptcy liquidation hearing for the firms.
Hans Precious Metals has total liabilities of about CNY720 million and the debts of other firms controlled by Li have not yet been fully counted, but are in the region of CNY600 million to CNY700 million.
The major shareholder of Shenzhen-listed Yunnan Tin, the world’s largest producer and exporter of the metal, is one of the major creditors, with a total claim in excess of CNY600 million.
In addition, numerous state-owned companies and local banks are owed money by Li’s firms, ranging from millions to tens of millions of yuan. Jiangxi Metals Industrial Development has declared a claim of CNY60.7 million.
A large amount of Li’s debts have been guaranteed by the real estate company and projects operated by his brother-in-law Zhang Jian. But Zhang’s property firm in Zhejiang province is itself heavily indebted, and creditors are worried that a significant portion of the claims will not be settled.
Based in Shangrao, Hans Precious Metals was set up in 2014, and its main business focuses on precious metal recovery and refining and precious metal base compounds. The company had operating income of more than CNY6 billion last year. The reason for its losses is not yet known.
Editor: Tom Litting