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April 25, 2017

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Law changes seek better scrutiny

CHINA is expected to improve stock market supervision with stricter measures, better information disclosure and strengthened investor protection, said a draft amendment of the Securities Law read by lawmakers yesterday.

The securities regulator will be authorized to adopt more measures in law enforcement and impose tougher punishments for violations to better monitor and prevent systemic risks, according to the draft.

Stock exchanges will be asked to make more efforts in self-discipline.

The changes are considered a response to a bitter market crash nearly two years ago.

It was the draft’s second review by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, two years after the first one.

The legislature’s ongoing bimonthly session began yesterday and runs until Thursday.

Information disclosure was highlighted in the draft amendment, especially for investors who intend to acquire over 5 percent of shares of a listed company. Buyers will have to report more, including capital sources, and will be subject to a lock-up period of 18 months, up from the previous half year.

More items were added to curb market manipulation and insider trading, and improve regulation on stock suspension.

In terms of investor protection, small shareholders will be given bigger say, and listed companies should pay dividends according to rules.

The draft also included a mechanism of compensation in advance to protect investors who suffer due to illegal activities, such as IPO fraud.

To facilitate the creation of a multi-level capital market, the draft amendment classified markets into three categories: stock exchanges, the National Equities Exchange and Quotation, and regional equity markets.

There is no revision on stock issuance in the draft amendment.


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