Missing Chinese billionaire Bao Fao resigns from all roles

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Billionaire financier Bao Fan has stepped down as head of investment bank China Renaissance, the company said Friday, almost a year after he was revealed to be co-operating in an investigation by authorities.

Bao rose to fame as a key player in the emergence of some of the country’s biggest tech giants, supervising blockbuster IPOs and the landmark 2015 merger between ride-hailing giant Didi and its top competitor at the time, Kuaidi Dache, AFP reports.

But he disappeared in February last year as authorities renewed a crackdown on the nation’s financial services industry that saw a number of prominent Chinese financiers placed under investigation.

Mr Bao’s unexplained disappearance shocked China’s business and investing community.

Later, his Hong Kong-listed firm announced it had been made “aware that Mr Bao is currently co-operating in an investigation being carried out by certain authorities” in mainland China.

In a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday, his firm said he “has resigned” from his positions, including as an executive director, chairman of the board and CEO.

In a statement, the company said he had resigned “for health reasons and to spend more time on his family affairs”.

It added: “There is no other matter relating to his resignation that needs to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the company.”

“The Board expresses its deep gratitude for Mr Bao’s efforts and dedication to the company during the tenure of his service,” the statement continued.

“Under Mr Bao’s vision and leadership, the company has grown and expanded, overcome many challenges and achieved significant milestones along the way.”

The company said co-founder, Xie Yi Jing, will assume Mr Bao’s most senior roles.

However, it did not provide any details about Mr Bao’s whereabouts.

He was one of China’s most high-profile bankers with a client list that included internet giants Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu.

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