A group of Chinese investors claiming a stake of 18% in the troubled Centro group is being investigated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

Li Zhang, a Sydney-based investment manager who heads the Centro Shareholders Association, said he had been asked to clarify whether in fact the association had increased its stake from 11.78% in February to 18% without lodging a substantial shareholder notice.

Zhang said he faxed a letter to ASIC yesterday, saying the association remained with just an 11.78% stake.

As reported in The Australian yesterday, Zhang is rallying up to 1000 Centro shareholders to lobby the federal Government for Rudd Bank dollars.

ASIC said its investigations would centre on whether the two parties of Centro investors were acting in concert.

The Australian