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China graft agency investigates stock regulator

BEIJING: China’s main anti-corruption agency is investigating the deputy head of the country’s securities market regulator following the collapse of a stock price boom.

Zhang Yujun, deputy chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, is suspected of “severe violations of discipline,” according to the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

The one-sentence announcement late Wednesday gave no details but that term usually refers to corruption.

Chinese authorities have launched investigations of brokerages, government employees and a reporter for a prominent business magazine following the collapse in prices that began in early June.

Those moves suggested the ruling party might be trying to deflect blame for the decline, which prompted a multibillion-dollar government intervention.

On Tuesday, the police ministry announced executives of China’s biggest stock brokerage, state-owned Citic Securities Ltd., were suspected of insider trading and leaking sensitive information.

They include the firm’s general manager Cheng Boming, chief operating officer Yu Xinli and deputy manager of its information technology center, Wang Jinling.

In August, the official Xinhua News Agency said eight Citic employees and one current and one former employee of the market regulator were suspected of illegal stock trading.

The police ministry announced July 12 it suspected securities firms of “illegally manipulating securities and futures exchanges.”

The market benchmark soared more than 150 percent beginning late last year before hitting a peak June 12 and plunging.

The downturn triggered complaints politically favored insiders profited at the expense of small investors.

Beijing responded by barring large shareholders from selling and ordering executives to buy back any recently sold stock in their own companies.

– http://www.nst.com.my/

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