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February 25, 2017

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Market rigger fined US$507m, banned from trading for life

CHINA’S securities regulator yesterday fined chairman of P2P Financial Information Service Co, formerly Shanghai Duolun Industry Co, nearly 3.48 billion yuan (US$507 million) for manipulating stock prices.

Xian Yan, also the biggest shareholder of P2P Financial, was found guilty of fixing the stock price of the company which is principally a property developer and building materials supplier via insider trading and reporting falsely to the stock market regulator from January 2014 to June 2015, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a statement.

Besides being fined, Xian was banned for life from trading on the Chinese mainland securities market, the CSRC said.

Xian was accused of hyping the companies he controlled by suggesting they were also engaged in business activities beyond core functions.

In May 2015, Shanghai Duolun changed its name to P2P Financial, in an attempt to hop on board the peer-to-peer lending craze then. But the company’s operations had nothing to do with the business its new name suggested.

The company’s share price surged at least 74 percent in one month on the Shanghai Stock Exchange after its renaming.

“Xian’s case was not a breach of information disclosure but also contempt for the country’s securities laws and the authority of the government,” said Zhang Xiaojun, a CSRC spokesman.

The CSRC also found out Xian was involved in capital manipulation of Shanghai-listed pharmaceutical company Guangxi Future Technology Co, which he controlled.

Last month, Xu Xiang, founder and general manager of Shanghai-based Zexi Investment, was sentenced to five years and six months in jail for fabricating non-public information and making huge profits from such activities during the stock market turmoil in mid-2015.


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