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Vanishing China execs a vexatious mystery for HK market

The chairman of the Hong Kong arm of one of China's biggest securities companies goes missing. The head of another firm resurfaces after months incommunicado. An executive at a film studio is detained for allegedly taking bribes.

They're not plot outlines for crime novels but real life cases lifted from the normally dry Hong Kong stock exchange filings of Chinese companies over the past year.

The latest example came Monday when Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd., the Hong Kong unit of a Chinese securities company, said it was unable to reach its chairman and chief executive Yim Fung since Nov. 18, sending its shares plummeting 12 percent.

Speculation swirled...