China replaces Xiao Gang as securities regulator head
SANGHAI: China has removed Xiao Gang, the head of its securities regulator, from his post, and appointed Liu Shiyu to take on the role, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
Liu, who had been chairman of the Agricultural Bank of China Ltd (AgBank) and a former deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, will succeed Xiao as chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
The move caps a turbulent period for China's financial markets, which fell sharply last summer, leading to close scrutiny of the CSRC and Xiao's handling of the crisis.
The Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses rose steeply until mid-June of last year and then crashed, losing as much as 40 percent of their value before top leadership intervened.
Reuters reported in January that Xiao, 57, had offered to resign following the sudden withdrawal of a "circuit-breaker" mechanism launched at the start of this year.
That mechanism had been intended to limit any market sell-off, but many investors blamed it for contributing to a series of falls in the first days of trading this year, which contributed to global market jitters.
Liu, 54, has spent most of his career at China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, rising to the position of vice governor and holding that post from 2006 until he left in late 2014 to head up AgBank.