In 2013, Hebei Supply and Marketing Cooperative (Hebei SMC) acquired Hong Kong listed Qianlong Technology and changed its name to National Agriculture. The company would now offer rural financial services in China. After announcing some smaller deals in early 2014, the company than raised HK$592m (US$73m) through three private placements between September 2014 and June 2015. In August 2015, the company announced that it would enter into a fund management agreement and made a RMB850m earnest money deposit. In November 2015, it then announced the acquisition of various properties around Shanghai and made a further RMB1.2bn earnest money deposit. However, the deals never went through and while the money was supposed to have been returned in March 2016, it transpired that RMB1.82bn (US$280m) was not. This was not uncovered until the FY16 audit, raising suspicions that management was involved. However, it is not clear who embezzled the money given that no arrests or prosecutions have been made as far as we are aware. National Agriculture is a confirmed case of embezzlement.
Last updated February 2022
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