Citic’s New Boss

Citic Pacific chairman and CEO Larry Yung will be replaced by Chang Zhenming.


Hong Kong–listed Citic Pacific surprised the markets for the second time in six months with news in April that its chairman and CEO was stepping down. Larry Yung will be replaced by Chang Zhenming, vice chairman and president of government-owned parent company Citic Group. The move comes on the heels of a massive HK$15.5 billion ($2 billion) loss the company reported last year for unauthorized currency positions. Traders at Citic Pacific, which owns 17.5 percent of Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways, bet the Australian dollar would rise; it fell 30 percent against the U.S. dollar. Yung, 67, insisted as recently as March 25 that he would not resign. Anil Daswani, an analyst with Citigroup in Hong Kong, says Chang, 52, will focus on selling noncore assets, such as Citic’s stake in power plants and a tunnel in Hong Kong and its interest in Cathay Pacific. “It will take Mr. Chang considerable time to improve the group’s heavily geared balance sheet.” Neither Yung nor Chang was available for comment.