A senior banker from Nomura Holdings Inc.'s Hong Kong arm has been prohibited from leaving mainland China, in a move seen as part of an investigation into Bao Fan, a prominent Chinese tech dealmaker, The Financial Times reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.
According to the report, the travel restriction on Charles Wang Zhonghe, chairman of the Japanese securities firm's investment banking for China at Nomura International (Hong Kong) Ltd., is limited to leaving the mainland, and he is not in custody.
The move has raised concerns among the foreign business community in China, where investor confidence is already low, the report said. The U.S. State Department has cautioned against travel to China due to the "arbitrary enforcement of local laws," including exit bans and the risk of wrongful detention.
The restriction on Wang follows the months-long disappearance of Bao, founder of the investment group China Renaissance, and the group's president, Cong Lin, the report said, adding the company has said that Bao was "cooperating in an investigation" with Chinese authorities.
According to the report, Wang's ban is related to his previous employment at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd., during which he overlapped with Cong.
Another FT report said Bao is on a long list of Chinese financial executives who have disappeared while caught up in corruption investigations.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press conference in Beijing Monday that he is "not aware of" the Nomura executive's situation.
He stressed that Beijing is committed to providing "a market-oriented, rules-based and internationalized" business environment for companies operating in China.