China Bans Stock Sales By Major Shareholders For Six Months

China’s securities regulator banned major shareholders, corporate executives and directors from selling stakes in listed companies for six months, its latest effort to stop the nation’s $3.5 trillion stock-market rout. Investors with stakes exceeding 5 percent must maintain their positions, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a statement. The rule is intended to guard capital-market stability amid an “unreasonable plunge” in share prices, the CSRC said. While China has already ordered government-owned institutions to maintain or boost their stock holdings, the CSRC’s directive expands the ban on sales to non-state companies and potentially foreign investors who own major stakes in mainland businesses. Regulators have unveiled market-boosting measures almost every night over the past 10 days, steps that have so far failed to revive investor confidence. Foreign traders sold Chinese shares at a record pace this week in part due concerns over the government’s meddling in markets. “It suggests desperation,” Mark Mobius, chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, said by phone Wednesday. “It actually creates more fear because it shows that they’ve lost the control.”

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