The billionaire chairman of China’s Fosun Group, Guo Guangchang, has gone missing, several media reports said, as trading in shares of the group’s companies was halted on Friday.
Financial magazine Caixin said that staff at Fosun International had been unable to contact their boss since Thursday afternoon.
There is speculation that Guo, described as China’s Warren Buffett, has been detained by the police.
Caixin cited social media posts as saying that Guo was last seen with police in Shanghai. But it didn’t clarify whether he was under investigation himself or assisting a probe.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the billionaire’s disappearance comes at a time when a number of Shanghai government officials and corporate executives have come under scrutiny both in Chinese corruption investigations and in probes that followed turmoil in the country’s stock market earlier this year.
Guo is the 11th richest man in China with net worth of $6.9 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Fosun is one of China’s biggest private conglomerates. It has businesses in a range of sectors including media, insurance, real estate and retail. Its portfolio includes companies such as French resort chain Club Méd and US insurer Ironshore.
Fosun Group was also looking to invest in India. In June 2013, VCCircle reported that the conglomerate was looking at making private equity investments into Indian companies. The company had plans to invest at least $30 million in growth companies.