The mainland's security regulator has issued new rules governing stock incentive schemes in order to ensure greater fairness in the markets. Companies disclosing important events such as share placements, capital injections and convertible bond issues should not launch share option incentive schemes to major shareholders within 30 days, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said on its website yesterday. Similarly, the regulator said companies that did launch new share option schemes should not issue announcements about such major corporate events for 30 days. Incentive plans were introduced to mainland state-owned enterprises in 2006. They grant management the right to buy a specified number of shares at a stipulated price during a specified time. The new rules are designed to put a limit on the advantage that major shareholders often have over smaller investors. Analysts say the CSRC's move is yet another stimulus scheme by the central government to boost the mainland stock market, but the impact will not be as large as the recent cut in stamp duty. The announcement echoed the CSRC's recent pledge to ensure transparency in state policies as it attempts to stop rumours destabilising the stock and futures markets. The regulator last month published provisional rules governing disclosure, promising to issue timely official statements to clarify widespread speculation. Wu Kan, a fund manager at Dazhong Insurance, said the CSRC's rules were obviously intended to protect investor interests. 'The management of the listed companies won't be able to take advantage of any insider news. This could ensure fairness among shareholders,' he said. The central government is drafting a new rule to cap stock option incentives for executives of state-owned enterprises. This is an attempt at pacifying a public that is fed up with news that managers of listed companies make millions of yuan a year during a stock market downturn. On April 23, the Ministry of Finance cut the stamp duty on mainland share transactions by two-thirds in the hope of ending a stock market slump that has seen the value of listed companies drop by a third this year. It has also issued rules to restrict the disposal of previously non-tradable equities held by big investors in listed firms.