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China stock regulator holds anti-corruption training

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A security guard stands outside the headquarters building of China Securities Regulatory Commission in Beijing, Sept 7, 2015.

[BEIJING] China's stock regulator has held anti-corruption training for dozens of senior exchange officials to ensure they can nip graft in the bud, it said on Monday, amid a crackdown on the securities industry following a mid-year equity market crash.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission's (CSRC) discipline body, in a statement released by the ruling Communist Party's main anti-graft watchdog, said it had recently held closed-door training for top officials at the bodies it regulates.

It did not give an exact date or identify the organisations involved, but the CSRC is in charge of regulating the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets, as well as futures and commodities exchanges in other parts of the country.

Wang Huimin, who runs the CSRC's discipline body, told those on the training they must ensure they follow party rules on fighting corruption and ensure there are no corrupt practices when it comes to personnel moves or changes. "Prevent corruption at the source," the statement paraphrased Wang as saying.

The crackdown on the securities industry - from hedge funds and institutional fund managers to brokers and banks - began after a summer equity market crash wiped around 40 per cent off mainland share prices, which Beijing blamed partly on "malicious" short-selling and insider trading.

Even though domestic stock markets have rebounded by more than 20 per cent since the depths of the crash in August, market executives say the regulatory atmosphere has not relaxed.

Authorities have revealed little about the specific reasons for the probes, but sources have told Reuters they believed some of the investigations involved suspicions of insider trading relating to trades by China's "national team" - the big brokerages and fund managers dragooned by the government into buying stocks as part of unprecedented measures to prop up the market.

President Xi Jinping launched a sweeping crackdown on pervasive corruption since assuming power three years ago, warning, as others have before, the problem is so bad it could affect the party's grip on power.

REUTERS