Caixin
Nov 16, 2018 08:02 PM
FINANCE

Movers and Shakers: Two New Energy Bosses Fill Gaps Left By Retirement, Corruption Probe

Ge Haijiao(left), Wang Bin
Ge Haijiao(left), Wang Bin

| World of Finance

Ge Haijiao (葛海蛟) is to become the new president of midsize lender China Everbright Bank Co. Ltd., after confirmation by regulators, sources told Caixin. The post has been vacant for over two months since previous President Zhang Jinliang (张金良) left to become chairman of the Postal Savings Bank Co. Ltd. of China.

Ge moved to China Everbright Group Ltd. in 2016, where he is currently vice general manager. Before that he spent 23 years at Agricultural Bank of China, the country’s third-largest commercial bank by assets.

Wang Bin (王滨), formerly chairman at China Taiping Insurance Group Ltd., has been formally elected chairman of China Life Insurance (Group) Co. Ltd. He was replaced as chairman at Taiping by Luo Xi (罗熹), previously China Resources (Holdings) Co. Ltd.’s vice chairman and CEO.

| Energy Moves

1

Zhang Jianhua(left), Shu Yinbiao

The energy watchdog has a head again: Former PetroChina President Zhang Jianhua (章建华) has taken over as director of the National Energy Administration (NEA) after his predecessor, Nur Bekri (努尔·白克力), was removed under allegations of corruption in September. Zhang is the first director of the NEA to come from the sector it regulates, having worked in oil and gas for over 30 years.

The NEA, an agency under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), has relatively little power within China’s fragmented energy regulatory system. It makes up for this deficiency by overperforming on corruption metrics — before the fall of Bekri, a wave of allegations had hit the body in 2014, when former Director Liu Tienan (刘铁男) was sentenced to life in prison for bribery. More high-level arrests followed. In February, former Deputy Director Wang Xiaolin (王晓林) was removed from his position after an earlier corruption probe.

Rumors that the agency would be replaced by an independent Ministry of Energy have come to nothing so far. The NDRC itself, and also the huge state-owned oil industry that Zhang built his career in, may not be too supportive — the former would lose influence over the sector, and the latter might have to face a regulator with some teeth.

Power shifts: Shu Yinbiao (舒印彪), previously chairman of State Grid Corporation of China, has been appointed the next chairman and party secretary of China Huaneng Group Co. Ltd., one of the “big five” power generation companies in the country, replacing Cao Peixi (曹培玺), who has reached retirement age. Kou Wei (寇伟) will take over as chairman of State Grid. Shu had been at State Grid, the world’s largest utility company, for his entire career so far, and has been its chairman since 2016.

| Companies Roundup

Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess will take over responsibility for his company’s business in China from next year, after current China-head Jochem Heizmann retires, Reuters reported. Along with a slumping market and the U.S.-China trade war, carmakers will also have to contend with a new policy due to start just when Diess takes over — a new-energy vehicle credit trading system, which is linked to the production of zero- and low-emission vehicles. Those not making enough green cars will have to buy credits from those that do.

China’s a hugely important market for Volkswagen — its Chinese operations were responsible for half its global sales in 2017. It’s not surprising Diess is taking more of an interest.

“The Chinese government expects that company leadership is routinely present in China,” the Reuters source said.

Contact reporter Ke Baili (bailike@caixin.com)

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