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CAO chief says unaware of trading risks
(Shenzhen Daily/Agencies)
Updated: 2005-02-03 14:28

The former head of troubled China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corp (CAO) said he was not aware of the company's derivatives trading until nine months after it had begun, the Beijing Youth Daily reported Wednesday.

Chen Jiulin, former chief executive of the Singapore-listed jet fuel supplier, said he did not understand well the risks involved in the oil trades, which left the company saddled with US$550 million in losses and subject to a probe into suspected violations of securities laws.

Chen, who was arrested in Singapore in December and released on bail, said the risky oil trades began in June 2003. CAO's risk management committee did not inform him of the dealings until March 2004, he said.

"Of course, my mistake is inexcusable," the newspaper quoted Chen as saying. "As the company's CEO, if such an incident occurs I cannot refuse to take responsibility."

Chen said he had no plans to commit suicide.

"I only meant to make a contribution to Chinese industry, I never sought any personal gain," he was quoted as saying.

Chen said an Australian employee began the speculative trading strategy. He did not name the trader but the company's 2003 annual report lists Australian Gerard Rigby as its deputy head of oil trading.

Rigby, a senior executive with the company, said Chen's comments were "not correct.

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