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China securities firm chief 'commits suicide': reports

[BEIJING] The head of a Chinese securities company hanged himself Friday after authorities prevented him leaving the country, reports said, following the sacking of a top industry regulator for corruption.

Guosen Securities president Chen Hongqiao was found dangling from the balcony of his home, reported Chinese news portal Tencent, citing unnamed sources within the company and a senior manager of a state-owned bank.

He had previously attempted to leave China but was turned back because he had been put under "border control" - a standard measure imposed on foreign and Chinese citizens under investigation, said Sohu, another portal, citing an unnamed source.

Chinese stock exchanges plunged over the summer as a debt-fuelled bubble burst, roiling worldwide markets and prompting authorities to intervene at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars.

Several investigations have been launched over alleged market manipulations and insider trading.

Before joining Guosen, Mr Chen was a vice general manager of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange under Zhang Yujun, then the bourse's head, Tencent said.

Mr Zhang was later promoted to assistant chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, but he was sacked last month amid a corruption probe.

Mr Chen and Mr Zhang had "close relations" in Shenzhen, Tencent said, citing a securities firm executive in the city, which neighbours Hong Kong.

Guosen Securities confirmed in a statement that it had been informed by Chen's relatives that he died on Friday, without providing further details.