China Tuna Industry officially withdraws Hong Kong IPO application

Press release - 2014-12-10
Hong Kong 10 Dec 2014 – The China Tuna Industry Group (CTI) Holding Limited has officially withdrawn its IPO application from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx). In September, Greenpeace found that CTI had understated the environmental and sustainability risks of the company's operations, and provided outdated information to the investment community in its Application proof version of prospectus. Greenpeace alerted the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and China’s Bureau of Fisheries. The Stock Exchange suspended the IPO immediately, but it has taken the company several months to act.

“Unsustainable business as usual” won’t work

“Unsustainable business-as-usual won’t work,” says Elsa Lee, Senior Business Advisor at Greenpeace East Asia, “The withdrawal of CTI’s IPO proves that unsustainable fishing is highly risky, and will not get through the scrutiny of financial market regulation, nor attract responsible investors.”

The IPO’s sole sponsor, Deutsche Bank, has never responded directly to this scandal, “Deutsche Bank learned their lesson the hard way, putting all that work in sponsoring an unsustainable and unethical company’s IPO, and getting nothing but a bad reputation in return,” added Lee.

The draft prospectus included a major material omission, ignoring the most recent scientific assessment which showed bigeye tuna in the pacific is now overfished, a situation that seriously affects the viability of CTI’s business. The scientific committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has recently established that bigeye tuna stock is now at a dangerously low level and needs immediate conservation measures. China’s Bureau of Fisheries has confirmed it is conducting an investigation into CTI. The Bureau of Fisheries stated that, “The (draft) prospectus has gravely misled investors and the international community, and caused a tremendous negative impact.”

Greenpeace calls for urgent action to protect the economic and environmental sustainability of key Pacific tuna stocks. With the recent lack of action on Pacific tuna by fisheries management body WCPFC, the rest of the industry must start working to protect fish stocks and developing their business in a sustainable way, and that includes financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank. If tuna stocks collapse, so too does industry, taking with it the money invested in it. “Greenpeace calls on all financial institutions to act ethically about the threats to our oceans and fisheries, and tightly screen any business that may cause overfishing or other harms to our oceans.” says Elsa Lee.



Oct 16: Deutsche Bank under pressure as Chinese Government joins Greenpeace, condemning bungled IPO


Media Contact:

Elsa Lee, Senior Business Advisor, Greenpeace East Asia

Josephine Ng, Communications Team Leader, Greenpeace East Asia

Dan Salmon, Tuna Communications