August 5, 2011 / 4:00 AM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-Trading in Ajisen shares suspended -HKEx

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HONG KONG, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Trading in shares of Japanese-style food chain Ajisen (China) Holdings Ltd was suspended on Friday pending a statement, according to a filing with the Hong Kong bourse.

The company gave no further details.

Ajisen (China) was under investigation over its advertising practices, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported earlier this week, citing the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce.

Shares of the company have fallen more than 31 percent this week to close at HK$11.50 on Thursday. The shares were indicated to open down 8.7 percent before trading was suspended on Friday.

Ajisen competes with rivals including hot pot restaurant chain Little Sheep , a unit of Yum Brands Inc , and Yum’s other operations KFC and Pizza Hut in the mainland, and McDonald’s Corp .

Earlier this week, Ajisen said it had been fined 786,600 yuan ($122,162) in 2010 by Chinese authorities for use of an additive, sorbitol, in its noodles, adding it had suspended the use of the additive. It said the episode did not pose any material adverse effect to its business or operation.

Last week, Ajisen said it had made appropriate clarification on the nutrition content of its soup base, saying the soup base concentrate was made from stewing ingredients such as pig bones and denying media report that the soup base was made from soup powder. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner and Ken Wills)

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