Hong Kong court refuses bail to ex-Hanlong executive in extradition case

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - A former executive of China's Hanlong Mining Investment Pty Ltd, wanted in Australia for alleged insider trading, was denied bail in Hong Kong on Monday and had his extradition hearing adjourned until March 13.

Hui Xiao, also known as Steven Xiao, is wanted in relation to 104 offences linked to Hanlong's 2011 takeover bids for Australia's Sundance Resources Ltd and Bannerman Resources Ltd.

Xiao, during an insider trading investigation in Australia, was permitted to leave for a short visit to Hong Kong in 2011 but did not return.

Another former Hanlong executive, Bo Shi Zhu, also known as Calvin Zhu, was sentenced in 2013 to two years and three months in an Australian jail, having pleaded guilty to three counts of insider trading between 2006 and 2011.

Zhu and Xiao, who stood down from their roles at Hanlong when the insider trading probe began in September 2011, were among several Hanlong executives whom the Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigated.

Separately, former Hanlong chairman Liu Han has been charged in China with crimes including gun-running and murder, in one of the country's highest-profile cases against a private businessman since Mr Xi Jinping became president last year vowing to battle corruption.

Hanlong is the biggest shareholder of Africa-focused Sundance, of which its proposed A$1.4 billion (S$1.59 billion) takeover was called off in April after Hanlong missed funding deadlines.

Uranium explorer Bannerman ended talks on a A$143 million offer from Hanlong in late 2011 because of similar funding issues.

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