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BOC head said appointed as CSRC chief

(Shanghai Daily)

08:28, March 18, 2013

XIAO Gang, who resigned yesterday as chairman of Bank of China Ltd, was named head of the nation's securities regulator, succeeding Guo Shuqing, according to reports on Shanghai Securities News.

Xiao's appointment was announced to China Securities Regulatory Commission staff during a meeting yesterday, the report said. Guo's future role wasn't disclosed at the meeting.

In a statement to Hong Kong's stock exchange, BOC said Xiao had resigned because of "the needs of national financial work," without elaborating.

The personnel move comes as Zhou Xiaochuan was reappointed as central bank governor.

Xiao, 54, who is fluent in English, worked in various positions at the People's Bank of China, the central bank, for more than 20 years, according to a BOC annual report. He eventually became deputy governor of the central bank before joining BOC, the nation's fourth-biggest listed lender.

Profit at BOC has grown by an average 31 percent a year since 2006, when its shares started trading in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Its stock price has tumbled 39 percent over the past five years in Shanghai, while the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, the nation's biggest lender, fell 24 percent.

Calls to the regulator's press office yesterday seeking comment were not unanswered.

The CSRC has expanded foreign investor quotas to buy stocks, cut trading fees and pushed companies to increase dividends since Guo became chairman in 2011. The Shanghai Composite Index was on a bull run on January 29 after rallying 20 percent from a three-year low on December 3.

Guo has also overseen a surge in corporate bond sales as part of China's effort to wean companies from bank lending to finance their operations. Sales of corporate bonds more than doubled last year to 1.41 trillion yuan (US$227 billion) as share sales fell 12 percent to 286 billion yuan, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.

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