April 17, 2014 / 12:30 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-China Resources chairman under investigation by anti-graft body

(Adds detail, context, comment from UBS)

BEIJING, April 17 (Reuters) - The chairman of state-owned China Resources Holdings Co. Ltd., a holding company for a group of energy, land and consumer businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong, is under investigation, China’s top anti-corruption body said on Thursday.

Song Lin is suspected of a serious violation of discipline, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a one-line statement on its website. Violating discipline is official jargon for corrupt activities.

Song appears to be the latest official to fall in President Xi Jinping’s fight against corruption. Xi has vowed to tackle high-ranking “tigers” as well as lowly “flies.”

The statement from the anti-corruption agency comes after a Chinese journalist accused Song of illegal financial dealings. Song has denied the accusation.

The journalist, Wang Wenzhi, is a reporter for the Economic Information Daily newspaper, run by the official Xinhua News Agency. Wang said via his microblog on Wednesday that he had notified the anti-graft body about Song’s alleged wrongdoing.

Song, in a statement posted on his company’s website earlier on Thursday, said Wang’s claims were slanderous.

“The report is pure fabrication and malicious slander. These acts have caused great harm to the reputation of my family and the company,” he said, adding that he would pursue legal action.

Song was in the public eye last year when Wang and another reporter accused a China Resources subsidiary, China Resources Power Holdings Co. Ltd., of deliberately overpaying for a group of coal mines, triggering a lawsuit against company executives by a group of minority shareholders.

The company denied the allegations at the time.

Separately, a top energy official has been detained by police for questioning, a respected Chinese magazine reported.

Hao Weiping, director of the nuclear power department of the National Energy Administration, was detained along with his wife on Tuesday, Caixin magazine reported, as his wife prepared to leave the country from Beijing airport.

Neither Hao nor his wife were available for comment. (Reporting By Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Ron Popeski and Robert Birsel)

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