China Solar Giant Plunges After Billionaire Chairman Detained

JA Solar Technology Co., one of the world’s largest solar panel producers, plunged after announcing its billionaire chairman is under investigation by Chinese authorities.

The company’s shares in Shenzhen fell Monday by the daily limit of 10%, after also falling 10% on Friday. With the plunge, Chairman Jin Baofang’s net worth fell to $3.7 billion Monday from about $4.7 billion on Thursday, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Jin, who founded JA Solar in 2005, was detained by the supervisory committee in the eastern city of Pingdu in connection with an investigation in accordance with the country’s supervision law, the company said in an exchange filing on Sunday. The investigation hasn’t impacted the company’s operations, it said.

“The company’s orders are full,” JA Solar said in an emailed statement. “The sales and operations teams are working at full steam to make up for any possible impact on the company’s earnings from the incident.” The firm did not elaborate on details of the investigation.

JA Solar is one of the world’s biggest integrated solar panel makers, with production facilities for wafers, cells and modules. The firm can produce about 15 gigawatts of panels a year, and has announced expansion plans that would double that by the end of 2021, according to BloombergNEF.

The company on Oct. 29 completed a non-public share issuance, raising 5.2 billion yuan ($787 million) by selling an 18.07% stake to several financial institutions to help fund its expansion.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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