China issues first penalties involving HK stock link


SHANGHAI: China’s securities regulator has handed down hefty fines for stock manipulation including what it said was the first case involving the landmark Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect program.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in a statement that it had fined Tang Hanbo and his family-operated group of stock traders more than 1.2 billion yuan ($173.9 million).

They were accused of manipulating several stocks including one Shanghai-listed firm that is traded through the
Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect programme, which gives foreign investors access to hundreds of Chinese companies not quoted elsewhere, and vice-versa.

Tang, a Chinese mainland citizen, bought and sold the stocks of Zhejiang China Commodities City Group, which is traded through the stock connect program.

He and his associates created fake buy orders to artificially lift the stock’s price before dumping it, the regulator said in the statement issued Friday.

The commission called it the first cross-border market manipulation case under the connect program since its launch.

China started the landmark connection between the bourses of Shanghai and Hong Kong in late 2014, opening up its closeted share market to the outside world.

A similar programme was launched in December linking Hong Kong with Shenzhen, China second stock exchange.

Tang’s group of traders includes his brother and uncle, China’s Securities Times reported on Monday.

China has strengthened supervision over stock manipulation after a market bubble burst in 2015, causing the benchmark Shanghai index to collapse nearly 40 percent in just two months.


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