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China Regulator to Step Up Curbs on Insurers’ Stock Speculation

  • CIRC urges insurers to be “friendly investors” in market
  • Regulator to lower single shareholder’s stake cap in insurers

China’s top insurance official followed the nation’s securities authority in denouncing insurers’ leveraged buying spree in listed firms, pledging to step up scrutiny of stock-trading activities by the most aggressive acquirers.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission Chairman Xiang Junbo questioned the recent aggressive investments by insurers, ranging from buying sizable stakes in listed companies to speculating in stocks with dramatic swings, according to a statement on the regulator’s website that was based on an internal speech by Xiang. Insurance institutions should act as “friendly investors” in an asset market, and “should by no means become barbarians questioned by others,” Xiang was quoted as saying.