Chalco is possibly one of the worst managed companies we follow.
About two years ago we ran a story that the drunken chairman of Chalco admitted to a journalist at dinner in Hong Kong that his company was 'out of control'. It must remain apocryphal now, the story has disappeared and the chairman has been sacked, replaced by a Mayor:
"Aluminum Corp. of China has turned to a local politician, who has been out of industry for more than a decade, to head up the nation’s biggest producer, naming the mayor of Chengdu as its chairman.
Ge Honglin replaces Xiong Weiping, 58, whose five-year tenure as head of the state-run company known as Chinalco ends with a top executive embroiled in a graft probe and the company’s listed unit, Chalco, posting a first-half loss of 4.12 billion yuan ($673 million) due to lower aluminum prices."
This follows a host of other arrests at Chalco including:
- The vice chairman of Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., the nation’s biggest producer of the metal, is being investigated for graft as China intensifies its corruption crackdown.
Sun Zhaoxue, also general manager of parent company Aluminum Corp. of China, is being probed for “serious violations of discipline and law,” the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a one-line statement late yesterday, using a phrase that signals a corruption probe. Sun returned to the company in October from his role as president at China National Gold Group Corp., the country’s biggest gold producer by output.
Chalco's ROE just tells the story:
There was a marvellous note in the annual:
"The Group will also step up its monitoring and control over the credit risks of its subsidiaries to guard against credit risks."
There are two full pages of subsidiaries listed in the Annual.
Chalco is basically controlled by state Chinalco, and in turn is responsible for a plethora of local Aluminium plants built during the great boom by local authorities and municipalities anxious to create employment and grow!
The quoted unit in HK, is basically a funding unit for China's vast and messy Aluminium industry.
Anyway, the rumour is that Chinalco, Chalco,and all its various subsidiaries will be rolled into one super SOE. As we pointed out yesterday, more likely given Beijing's Thatcherite bent, is that the vast amorphous mess of a company is broken up and privatised into coherent 'temesek' style units with local capital invited to participate. There is a delicate task of extricating all the local units from party control.
So the stock is going up.