CSRC vice-chief retires as revamp boosts second-board hopes

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 April, 2009, 12:00am

The China Securities Regulatory Commission has completed a high-level personnel reshuffle with vice-chairman Fan Fuchun stepping down after reaching the mandatory retirement age.

Liu Xinhua, an assistant to the chairman, would replace Mr Fan, the CSRC announced yesterday. Gui Minjie, also a vice-chairman, will take up Mr Fan's role as deputy party secretary of the regulator.

The reshuffle will probably speed up the CSRC's efforts to launch a Nasdaq-style second board in Shenzhen and reform the initial public offering system, as the top officials have been assigned clear-cut areas to oversee.

Mr Fan was in charge of the listing, supervision and research departments. He was expected to retire last year after turning 60, but the global financial crisis and Beijing Olympics delayed the reshuffle.

Sources said Zhu Congjiu, 44, assistant to CSRC chairman Shang Fulin, would take charge of initial public offerings while Mr Gui, 56, would be responsible for market supervision.

'The reshuffle has been within expectations and will pave a way for new policies, particularly on new listings and the second board,' a source said.

The CSRC published late last month listing rules on the long-delayed second board, while vice-chairman Yao Gang said the growth market would be officially started after August.

The regulator is now working on details of the review process of listing candidates for the new board.

It is also likely to set a threshold for investors interested in trading shares in the start-up companies seeking to be listed there.

To avoid over-speculation, retail investors will not be allowed to buy shares on the growth market unless their brokerage accounts had more than 200,000 yuan (HK$226,780) in deposits, reports say.

The regulator also announced early this year that it would give small investors a bigger say in pricing the new shares to enhance fairness and transparency.

Beijing has not approved a single initial public offering since September last year amid worries of a liquidity drain.

The Shanghai Composite Index has climbed 30.7 per cent this year but is still 61 per cent off the peak set in mid-October 2007.

Last week, the review committee rejected an application by Ningbo QL Electronics to launch an initial offering, the first that came under its review in six months.