Shares of Dalian Wanda Group’s Hong Kong-listed hotel and commercial property arm slid 11 percent Monday as the real estate company responded to claims that its chairman had been detained by government authorities and ordered not to leave the country.
Billionaire Wang Jianlin and his family had reportedly been detained by Chinese authorities on Friday at an airport in Tianjin and later released, but was barred from leaving China, the U.S.-based Chinese-language blog Bowen previously reported.
But Wanda released a statement saying the rumors were “concocted with ulterior motives” and allowed to continue because Wang was on an inspection tour in the northwest China city of Lanzhou, the Financial Times reported.
“Wanda Group solemnly states that all rumors have been entirely fabricated with ulterior motives, and hopes that everyone will neither believe nor circulate them,” the company wrote in the statement.
Wanda Hotel Development’s stock had recovered in the morning to be down by 8.1 percent.
Meanwhile, Wanda last week announced it was pulling out of plans to buy a plot of land in London for $606 million with no details about why. Wanda is one of five Chinese companies that had come under the eye of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission earlier this year for carrying too much debt and expanding too rapidly.
Anbang Insurance Group, another of the companies, recently saw the head of its real estate division leave amid uncertainty over the firm’s leadership. Its chairman, Wu Xiahui, was reportedly detained by government authorities earlier this year, and the firm in June said he turned over his duties for “personal reasons.”[FT] – Rich Bockmann