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PetroChina shares halted; says report of more probes 'inaccurate'

PetroChina's logo is seen at its gas station in Beijing, August 29, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

By Anne Marie Roantree and Chen Aizhu

HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - Trading in shares of China's dominant oil producer PetroChina Co Ltd <0857.HK> <601857.SS> was suspended on Monday, the second halt in two weeks, as the company said a newspaper report that more of its executives were being investigated was inaccurate.

A PetroChina spokesman said the company would issue a statement soon.

The China Business News reported that five executives, including vice president Sun Longde and director Wang Guoliang, had been detained, citing an unidentified source within the company.

PetroChina, one of the world's most valuable oil companies, is embroiled in a major corruption investigation.

Its shares were suspended for a day on August 27. Since then, the government has said five former senior executives at PetroChina and its parent, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), were being investigated.

That included Jiang Jiemin, the former chairman of both entities.

The investigations come amid an anti-corruption campaign by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

PetroChina said in a statement on Monday to the Hong Kong stock exchange that trading in all structured products related to the company had also been halted from trading. No further details were immediately available.

Shares of the company, which dropped 4.4 percent on August 28 after the initial investigation was announced, last closed on Friday at HK$8.70.

Hong Kong-listed Wison Engineering Services Co Ltd <2236.HK>, a major PetroChina customer, said earlier this month its chairman and controlling shareholder, Hua Bangsong, was assisting authorities in an unspecified investigation.

(This story corrects the spelling of the name of Petrochina's vice president in the first paragraph)

(Additional reporting by Twinnie Siu and Donny Kwok. Editing by Dean Yates)