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Markets nervous over China 'confessions'

Tuesday, September 01, 2015 - 01:39

Shares in British hedge fund manager Man Group Plc have fallen more than 6 percent following a report that the head of its China unit has been taken into custody as part of a probe into the country's recent market volatility. As Ivor Bennett reports, the news follows an apparent TV confession about market manipulation from a Chinese financial journalist.

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If nerves weren't shredded before, they surely will be soon? Chinese authorities now investigating what, or who, might be behind the recent market mayhem. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CAIJING MAGAZINE REPORTER, WANG XIAOLU, SAYING: "At such a sensitive time, I shouldn't have sent out a report that would have huge, negative effects on the market. I shouldn't have sought to make a big splash just for the sake of sensationalism." Financial reporter Wang Xiaolu made his apparent confession on state television. One of nearly 200 people punished so far as Chinese regulators investigate possible market manipulation. CMC Markets' Michael Hewson. SOUNDBITE (English) MICHAEL HEWSON, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, CMC MARKETS, SAYING: "I think that's nonsense. I think it's a case of shooting the messenger because you don't like what they're saying." It's not just journalists. The head of hedge fund manager Man Group's China business has, according to some reports, been taken into custody to help with inquiries. Her husband says she's just in a meeting - either way shares in the British firm fell more than 6 percent. Concerns over a slowing economy have seen Chinese stocks plunge around 40 percent since mid-June. But instead of reassuring investors, the probe will do anything but says Hewson. SOUNDBITE (English) MICHAEL HEWSON, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, CMC MARKETS, SAYING: "I think their response shows a certain naivety. And I think, in the long run, could actually be counter-productive because it's going to discourage inward investment into China because essentially investors are going to be very, very concerned about state interference." The government has unveiled fresh stimulus measures, including policies to support mergers and acquisitions. But what was a rollercoaster is fast becoming a runaway train, and wrestling back control is proving increasingly difficult.

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Markets nervous over China 'confessions'

Tuesday, September 01, 2015 - 01:39