April 17, 2018 / 9:24 AM / 9 days ago

Czech president meeting China's CITIC after CEFC shake-up

PRAGUE, April 17 (Reuters) - Czech President Milos Zeman will meet a delegation from Chinese state-run conglomerate CITIC , including chairman Chang Zhenming, his spokesman said on Tuesday, amid reports it could take a stake in another Chinese group’s Czech investments.

Reuters reported last month that CITIC was in talks to take a stake in Chinese group CEFC’s Czech-based unit CEFC Europe, which has bought a number of assets in the Czech Republic.

CEFC has come under financial pressure since it was revealed that Chairman Ye Jianming had been investigated for suspected economic crimes earlier this year.

President Zeman, re-elected earlier this year, has pushed for closer economic ties with China in his first term and named Ye as his economic adviser.

CEFC dropped plans last month to raise its stake in Prague-based J&T financial group, a bank and investment vehicle, to 50 percent from 9.9 percent.

It also has stakes in Czech brewery group Lobkowicz, Prague soccer club Slavia Praha, the national airline, hotels and real estate. (Reporting by Jason Hovet and Robert Muller, editing by Louise Heavens)

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