NEW YORK Jan 23 U.S.-traded Chinese stocks fell
on Thursday, weighed by concerns about the transparency of their
audit processes after a U.S. judge censored the Chinese units of
the world's top auditors.
Among the biggest losers were Internet services provider
Baidu Inc, down 4.8 percent at $166.10, and SINA Corp
, down 5.1 percent at $73.16.
In a harshly worded 112-page ruling, Securities and Exchange
Commission Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliot censured the
Chinese affiliates of KPMG, Deloitte & Touche
, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst and Young
He said the companies "willfully" failed to give U.S.
regulators the audit work papers of certain Chinese companies
under investigation for accounting fraud.
The lack of proper auditing could force some of these
companies to de-list from U.S. exchanges, under U.S.
Shares of Tal Education Group fell 7.3 percent to
$23.75 in their largest decline since August 2012. The shares
rose 2.9 percent Wednesday after the company posted unaudited
results for the quarter ended Nov. 30.
Chinese data also weighed on shares as a preliminary survey
showed that activity in China's factory sector contracted in
January, for the first time in six months.
An index of stocks of Chinese companies traded on U.S.
exchanges fell 3.2 percent to its lowest in two months.