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China's Hubei is said to halt some new property investments

[BEIJING] The state assets regulator in China's Hubei province has asked companies backed by the province and their subsidiaries to suspend new property investments from Sept 5 amid a push to reduce financial risks, according to people familiar with the matter.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission in Hubei has also asked province-backed companies to accelerate the construction or sales of current property projects and get money back as soon as possible, said the people, who asked not to be named because they weren't authorised to comment on the matter publicly.

The regulators made the decision because many of the companies face high debt ratios and rising funding costs, the people said.

China has embarked on a drive to reduce leverage in financial markets and rein in systemic risks ahead of the Communist Party Congress in October, a one-in-five years event where leaders are expected to outline their vision for the nation.

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Property has been among the targets of a regulatory crackdown amid soaring real estate prices and debt-fueled acquisitions by individuals and companies.