chinese authorities resort to more arm twisting of stock market functionaries 1186162015

Man Group chief of China unit said to be taken into custody

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Confusion prevails around the status of Li Yifei, the high profile chair of British hedge fund manager Man Group’s Chinese operations, in the context of the ongoing investigations by Chinese authorities of the country’s stocks collapse.

A Bloomberg report said Monday that Li had been taken into custody “to assist with a probe into market volatility.” The report cited a person familiar with the matter and clarified that it did not mean she committed an offence or was charged with one.

However, Li’s husband, Wang Chaoyong later clarified to the Financial Times that the Bloomberg report was inaccurate and that his wife was merely participating in a meeting between foreign financial firms and market authorities in the suburbs of Beijing, and that it was in progress since Monday. “It sounds that there are a lot of people attending from foreign financial institutions,” he said to The Guardian.

"She said she is fine, discussing many professional issues," Wang said to Reuters. "Regulators often ask some institutions to have meetings. This is normal."

Wang said he was unaware of the agenda of the meeting and that the participants had to keep phones switched off because it was confidential.

Chinese regulators have been cracking down on various market participants such as short-sellers, algorithmic traders and large investors in an apparent effort to rein in the stocks collapse. Last month, they froze a trading account linked to Citadel Securities, the US hedge fund group.

Meanwhile, Wang Xiaolu, the Caijing business magazine journalist who found himself in the eye of a storm because an article he wrote apparently triggered a sell-off in Chinese markets, confessed on television that he spread false information.

Though it is not known whether he made the confession under duress, he said: “I shouldn’t have sought to make a big splash just for the sake of sensationalism.”

MAN GROUP PLC ORD USD0.03428571 (LON:EMG) shares closed September 1 at GBX 150.20, down 6.77 per cent.

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