Missing Chinese investment banker Bao Fan is cooperating with a government inquiry, his firm China Renaissance said in a statement Sunday.
The company's Hong Kong-listed shares have dropped 29% since the company announced on Feb. 16 that it was unable to contact Bao. He is China Renaissance's controlling shareholder, chief executive officer, and founder, among other roles.
"The Board has become aware that Mr. Bao is currently cooperating in an investigation being carried out by certain authorities in the People's Republic of China," China Renaissance said in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange on Sunday.
China Renaissance stated in both filings this month that its business was continuing to run properly.
Its shares fell to a record low of 5 Hong Kong dollars (64 cents) on Feb. 17, but have subsequently recovered marginally.
Caixin, a Chinese financial news outlet, said earlier this month that Bao's disappearance followed the examination of another China Renaissance executive, Cong Lin.
Cong was also the chairman of the firm's subsidiary Huajing Securities.
In September, the Shanghai bureau of the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission stated that Huajing had breached securities law standards related corporate governance and urged Cong to cooperate with an inquiry.
The investigation was not mentioned in China Renaissance's filings about Bao, and when reached, a representative could not provide any information.
Bao is not the only business leader to go missing in a country where they might vanish suddenly and inexplicably. Ren Zhiqiang, a real estate mogul, went missing for several months after allegedly speaking out against Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2020. He was then imprisoned for 18 years.
Anbang chairman Wu Xiaohui was reportedly detained by officials as part of a government probe. He, too, was imprisoned for 18 years.
The company, a Beijing-based investment bank and private equity group, stated that it is watching the situation and will provide more statements "when appropriate."
Bao is a seasoned dealmaker in China's technology business. He aided in the 2015 merger of two of the country's top meal delivery firms, Meituan and Dianping. Now, the united company's "super app" platform is widely used in China.
Bao began his investment banking career in the late 1990s at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, and later served as an adviser to the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.
His team has also invested in US-listed Chinese electric vehicle producers Nio and Li Auto, as well as assisted Chinese internet titans Baidu and JD.com with their secondary listings in Hong Kong.