China securities regulator warns of severe penalties in market crackdown

China securities regulator warns of severe penalties in market crackdown

FILE PHOTO: A Chinese flag flutters outside the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) building on the Financial Street in Beijing, China February 8, 2024. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

China’s securities regulator said on Friday it would mete out increasingly tough penalties on fraudulent listings, accounting scams and misappropriation of funds by big shareholders, as part of a crackdown to boost confidence in the stock market.

In its first news conference since the appointment of a new chairman, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) also said it would target insider trading and market manipulation more precisely, removing regulatory blind spots.

As investors anticipated forceful measures to boost the market, China’s blue-chip CSI300 Index rose for its ninth straight session on Friday, having rebounded 12% from five-year lows hit early this month.

In the two weeks since veteran regulator Wu Qing was appointed CSRC chairman, the watchdog has increased scrutiny on computer-driven quant trading, and punished breaches of market rules.

“Punishment will be more and more severe, and the cost of law-breaking will only be higher and higher,” Li Ming, head of the enforcement bureau of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) told reporters in Beijing.

“For a market to be prosperous and thriving, the key is to make everyone believe the market is fair and just.”

Yan Bojin, head of the CSRC’s department of public offering supervision, told the same news conference share issuers will face heavy penalties for accounting fraud, and the watchdog will conduct more on-site inspections.

Investors expect the CSRC to announce more measures in the coming weeks. Its new chairman Wu – nicknamed the “broker butcher” – has held a series of seminars with market participants to solicit proposals to reinvigorate the market.


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