China's Leshi questioned by bourse over trade suspension risk

May 9, 2018 6:00 am

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp Beijing has been formally asked whether its assets, which have fallen 98 percent over the past year, are at risk of turning negative and triggering a share trading halt and possible eventual delisting.

The logo of of Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp is seen on its building in Beijing, China March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s website on Wednesday showed the bourse had sent Leshi 33 questions, including about its assets. Under its rules, a year of negative net assets results in “suspension from being a listed company”, with two years ending in delisting.

Leshi, a video-streaming company that also makes internet-connected television sets, has seen revenue and profit dwindle since mid-2017 amid a funding crisis involving parent conglomerate LeEco and its founder Jia Yueting.

Net assets attributable to shareholders stood at 304 million yuan ($ 47.70 million) at the end of March, from 13.6 billion yuan a year earlier. It reported a net loss of 307 million yuan for January-March 2018 and a loss of 13.9 billion yuan for all of 2017.

The Shenzhen bourse also questioned Leshi about its operations, asset impairment and auditing. It asked the firm to detail its debts, explain slumping performance at subsidiaries, and disclose ownership relations with other companies as well as whether units conduct transactions with other group companies.

It also asked for an update on Jia and his related parties’ repayment of debt to Leshi, and whether there has been a change in the company’s decision-making personnel.

Leshi, which since July has been managed by second-largest shareholder Sunac China Holdings Ltd, in January said Jia and LeEco owed it 7.5 billion yuan. LeEco disputed the figure.

Jia, who remains Leshi’s largest shareholder, has been residing in the United States to work on his electric vehicle start-up company, though Chinese regulators have requested his return.

The Shenzhen exchange has also asked Leshi to explain how its salary expense rose in 2017 though headcount dropped.

It has requested a reply from Leshi by May 18.

A Leshi spokeswoman said the company had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.

Leshi’s shares were down 2.6 percent in morning trade in a flat broader market.

Reporting by Sijia Jiang and Hong Kong newsroom; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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