Chinese investors welcome new regulator, await new regulations

Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:26am EST
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By Pete Sweeney and Ryan Woo

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - China's new securities regulator Liu Shiyu, a former central banker, has a tough job on his hands - not least managing a huge weight of expectation from millions of small investors smarting from a recent stock market collapse.

Liu, appointed at the weekend to replace Xiao Gang, the scapegoat of the piece, inherits the fallout from near 50 percent drops in China's major indexes from peaks in June, blamed on a confluence of mistakes made by multiple regulators.

While Liu has no experience in the securities business and his curriculum vitae reads much like Xiao's - and other previous heads of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) for that matter - some superstitious 'netizens' are pinning their faith on his birth sign.

They note he was born under the Chinese zodiac sign of the Bull, and have made word plays rhyming his family name, which sounds like the Chinese word for ox.

"The chairman's sign is the Bull; how could the A-share (mainland) market not become bullish?" Li Daxiao, chief economist of Yingda Securities, wrote on his microblog.

On Monday, the first day's trading since his appointment, the blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 rose to its highest in almost a month.

A Chinese microblog forum was flooded with pictures of people holding up their stock market wish-lists for Liu - from the technical, such as reviving the suppressed index futures market, to the direct: "Surpass 6,124", demanded one woman, referring to the record high the Shanghai Composite Index struck in 2007.

"Let me make a load of money so I can find a good wife," urged another poster.   Continued...

People's Bank of China Vice Chairman Liu Shiyu attends a news conference in Beijng, China, March 13, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer