SHANGHAI, (AFP) -China’s government has vowed to tighten scrutiny of suspected insider trading in the nation’s stock markets, warning the situation is “severe”.
Insider trading has become more concealed and complex following the introduction of stock index futures earlier this year, the central government said in a statement released late Thursday.
“Currently, the situation of cracking down on and controlling insider trading in capital markets is rather severe,” it said.
The cabinet said securities regulators should “start probes immediately” into suspected insider trading, and impose punishments “as soon as possible” to protect investors. Stock index futures provide an opportunity to make trades based on expectations that the overall market could fall -- as well as rise.
Chinese regulators have pledged repeatedly in recent years to step up vigilance against insider trading, but the practice and other shady share dealings remains rife.
China has taken a range of policy measures this year to try to rein in speculation, particularly in the property market, as the authorities fear a dangerous asset bubble. On Wednesday the authorities announced a number of policy guidelines aimed at curbing rising prices of food, energy and other key items. The move was the latest expression of growing official alarm at an inflation rate that hit a two-year high in October amid a surge in food prices.