Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Illustration by Luis Grañena Listen to SupChina editor-at-large and Sinica podcast host Kaiser Kuo read this article. The roadshow kicked off on a steamy autumn morning in Singapore. Over the course of two days, CLSA, a Hong Kong-based brokerage firm, hyped up a $250 million, three-year bond deal for CEFC China Energy Co., a huge oil and gas firm. It was 2016, and CEFC was flying high. The company was fresh off a deal to take a stake in a Kazakhstan oil and gas company and a Czech Republic-based bank, plus the company was in the process of developing a massive oil reserve in Hainan, an island province of China. CLSA was tasked with finding investors for CEFC’s dollar-denominated bond. And during the roadshow, bankers pushed its growth story: the company had more than $40 billion in annual revenue, 30,000 employees and had been recognized as “China’s Most Influential Company” and an “Asia Excellence Brand.” The company was also portrayed as being “closely aligned withSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.