China’s securities watchdog, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), has slapped a CNY 1.17 billion ($170 million) fine on a Chinese fund manager for stock-market manipulation in its sweeping investigation of the industry.
Tang Hanbo, who has been punished for illegal trading twice before, was fined on Monday for what the CSRC called market manipulation. The Commission said that the cases in which it intends to levy the hefty fines, collectively worth more nearly 2 billion yuan, involve large amounts of money and conspiracies to violate trading rules that interfered with normal market functioning and helped fuel abnormal market fluctuations.
Specifically, Tang was ordered to pay CNY 251 million ($36.3 million) for allegedly using the link between the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges to manipulate a Shanghai-listed stock. He was also hit with CNY 925 million ($133.8 million) in fines and disgorgement over domestic trades carried out from December 2014 to April 2015.
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“This is not the first time Mr. Tang was sanctioned by CSRC for manipulating stock prices and that is one of reasons why the fine amount is that high,” said Eric Liu, a partner at Zhao Sheng Law Firm in Shanghai to Bloomberg.
While the total amount of fines and forfeited ill-gotten gains announced today may be the steepest, they are not the only fines that the CSRC has announced since China began cracking down on and investigating various aspects of the securities industry. The government has taken action against securities violations following the crash of the Chinese stock market last year, probing fund managers, brokers and even reporters.
In addition to Hanbo’s announcement, the securities regulator also said last month that it plans to impose CNY 3.47 billion ($314.8 million) worth of fines on Xian Yan, a former controller at Guangxi Future Technology Co for several cases of stock market manipulation through various methods. The cases involved different types of market manipulation, including suspected violations on information disclosure and stock manipulation.