Thursday, February 25, 2016

China Replaces Securities Regulator Xiao Gang

Xiao Gang Replaced by Liu Shivu – China Securities Regulatory Commission


China has removed the head of its securities regulator after a stormy period in the country’s stock market, by appointing a top state banking executive in his place since leaders tend to move in restoring confidence in the economy. The announcement on the official Xinhua news agency recently trails a string of assurances from senior leaders succeeding the Lunar New Year holiday which China would be supporting in slowing economy as well as steadying its shaky currency.

According to media report, Xiao Gang has been replaced by Liu Shivu as the chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission – CSRC as it tried to tackle main volatility in its stock markets. Mr Xiao had been in charge when China’s market had crashed in mid-2015 at one point and the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges had lost around 40% of their value. Mr Xiao who had become the CSRC chair in March 2013 had faced criticism for mishandling the crisis. Under his supervision, the new circuit breaker mechanism of China which was designed to limit any market sell-off had been organized twice in January in reaction to the stock market drop though was then scrapped totally after it had cause additional panic.

Departure of Xiao – Not a Surprise

Zhang Kaihua, fund manager of Nanjing-based hedge fund Huyang Investment stated that the departure of Xiao was not a surprise after the recent stock disaster and this is a role which is vulnerable to public criticism since most of the Chinese retail investors are intended to lose money in such markets. Xiao and the CSRC had come under fire as Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets of China had collapsed to about 40% within a few months last summer.

It was a further blow when a stock index circuit breaker that had been introduced in January to limit stock market losses had to be deactivated after four days of use since it was responsible for worsening a sharp selloff. The online media had labelled Xiao as `Mr Circuit Breaker’. According to Reuter’s reports, Xiao 57 had offered to resign after the `circuit breaker’ failure.A Shanghai-based analyst at Capital Securities Corp, Zheng Chunming had informed Bloomberg News that someone had to shoulder the responsibility after the suspension of the circuit breaker system.

Liu – Experience in Financial Sector

Mr Liu 54, had been the vice governor of China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, prior to becoming the chairman of the Agricultural Bankof China, which was the country’s third largest lender in 2012. On Weibo, the Chinese micro-blogging site, commentators recently played on Mr Liu’s name speculating if his tenure would bring about a `bull market’ of leave a `dead fish’ behind. Zhang stated that `Liu had a lot of experience in financial sector though there would be some policy uncertainty in the short term since it would take at least six months for the earlier banker to get used to his new role.

The managing director, sales trading at Haitong International Securities Group in Hong Kong, Andrew Sullivan said that removing Xiao had been mainly expected but by bring in the AgBank chairman; they are really not bringing anybody with a fresh market perspective but a political insider. Liu had spent major part of his career at the People’s Bank of China escalating to deputy governor, holding the post from 2006 till he left in late 2014 to head the AgBank.


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