Miner SouthGobi fires chief executive; says business as usual

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Vancouver-based coal miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd said on Thursday it sacked its chief executive officer (CEO), who is a suspect in a fraudulent loan case, with immediate effect, because of his inability to fulfill his daily duties.

The former CEO, Aminbuhe, was also removed as chairman of the board but would remain as a non-executive director, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, providing only one name for him.

“The company will continue to carry on its business in the normal course, relying on the depth and experience of its management team and the board,” SouthGobi said.

Bing Wang, who joined the company in 2015 as general manager of sales and marketing, was appointed as interim CEO on Nov. 13 and would continue in that role until a replacement has been found, it added.

SouthGobi said it had formed a special committee to initiate a formal internal investigation into the charges against Aminbuhe. It gave no further details.

The statement comes nearly a week after SouthGobi said Aminbuhe had been arrested on Oct. 11 and detained in China as a suspect in a fraudulent loan case.

The coal miner said earlier on Thursday that it had not paid any interest on a convertible debenture to China Investment Corporation (CIC) and was in talks with CIC regarding a repayment plan.

The Hong Kong-listed shares of SouthGobi were flat in early afternoon trade, compared to a 0.1 percent gain in the broader market.

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Christian Schmollinger