Business / Markets

Firms punished for illegal trading

By Li Xiang (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-12 11:58

Four securities firms and a futures brokerage have been fined a combined 178.5 million yuan ($28 million) for carrying out what China's securities watchdog called illegal trading activities which contributed to the recent stock market volatility.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission also confiscated 62.4 million yuan in illegal earnings of the five companies, which included Haitong Securities Co Ltd, Huatai Securities Co Ltd, Founder Securities Co Ltd, GF Securities Co Ltd and Zheshang Futures Co Ltd.

The action follows a crackdown by the authorities on illegal stock financing and trading after dramatic falls in the country's stock exchanges since mid-June.

Deng Ge, spokesman for the CSRC, said the five companies failed to check and verify the identities of clients and knowingly provided services for unqualified investors through a system developed by Hundsun Technologies Inc, a financial software company backed by the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Deng said their practices violated securities regulations that require the use of real names and identification cards to open stock accounts and trade shares.

Earlier this month, the regulator fined Hundsun Technologies and two other financial software companies 398.6 million yuan for applying the operating systems that allowed investors to trade stocks under false names.

The HOMS system is a stock trading software that divides one registered account into many sub-accounts. The function was used by some online margin lenders and securities brokerages to offer highly leveraged funds to investors to trade stocks without real-name registration.

Funds worth trillions of yuan are believed to have been channeled through the system, which fueled the frenetic rally in the stock market prior to its recent correction, analysts have said.

The regulator revealed it has also fined two individual investors a combined 35.2 million yuan for market manipulation through "spoofing" - a practice of quickly placing and canceling orders to influence stock prices and to reap profits.

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