Exclusive: China's chief stock regulator has offered to resign - sources

Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:15am EST
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By Benjamin Kang Lim and Kevin Yao

BEIJING (Reuters) - The embattled head of China's securities regulator, Xiao Gang, widely blamed by investors for mishandling a recent crisis that wiped over $5 trillion off the value of the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets, has offered to resign, sources said.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) denied Xiao had offered to resign. "This information does not conform to the facts," it said via Weibo, a popular microblogging site.

Xiao, 57, tendered his resignation as CSRC chairman last week after his brainchild - a "circuit breaker" mechanism to limit market losses - was blamed for exacerbating a sharp sell-off, a source with ties to the leadership and a financial industry source told Reuters. The "circuit breaker" was deactivated on Jan. 7, just three days after its introduction.

"The (Communist Party) central (leadership) is extremely unhappy with Xiao Gang. It is certain he will change jobs," the source close to the leadership said.

"Xiao Gang handed in his resignation last week," said the financial industry source. Both sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

It was not known if Xiao's resignation offer had been accepted by the central government. His term does not formally expire until end-2018.

MARKET MELTDOWN   Continued...

China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Xiao Gang addresses the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong in this January 19, 2015 file picture. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files