China names banking veteran to head securities regulator

January 28, 2019 09:25
Yi Huiman, currently chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, will take over from Liu Shiyu as party secretary and chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Photo: Reuters

China has appointed banking veteran Yi Huiman to head the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), putting governance of the nation’s stock markets in his hands at a time when investor confidence has been hit by a slowing economy and US tariffs, Reuters reports.

Yi, 54, currently chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), will take over from Liu Shiyu as the CSRC’s party secretary and chairman, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Yi is an ICBC stalwart and has been working at the state bank for more than three decades. He originally joined ICBC as a junior loan officer at a branch in Zhejiang province in 1985.

He was promoted to president of ICBC in 2013, overseeing the bank’s overall operations. Three years later, at the age of 51, he succeeded retiring chairman Jiang Jianqing to take the helm of the world’s largest lender by assets.

Prior to joining ICBC, he spent a year working at the Hangzhou city bureau of the Chinese central bank.

Yi faces the challenge of reviving global and domestic investor interest in Chinese equities, which have lost a quarter of their value from a year ago amid slowing economic growth and friction between Beijing and Washington over trade issues.

Trust in the CSRC has also been hit following a spate of violations in which companies had paid officials to gain regulatory approvals.

In the short term, Yi will have to handle the imminent launch of a planned Nasdaq-style technology board in Shanghai, while the integration of China’s capital markets into the global system will also likely be at the top of his agenda.

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