(Corrects 3rd paragraph to remove extraneous word)
BEIJING, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Securities regulators in several provinces of China are investigating the use of shares as collateral for financing activities to curb potential risks, the state-owned Securities Times newspaper reported on Saturday.
The provincial regulators have launched an “intensive investigation” into stock-backed borrowing by major shareholders of listed firms, the paper said.
The investigations focus on listed firms with greater exposure to such financing, including details on their shareholders and financial transactions, the paper said.
In September, China’s securities regulator published draft rules to restrict borrowing using stocks as collateral, as part of efforts to reduce leverage in the financial system and ward off systemic risks.
The rules, which have been finalised and are due to be implemented from March 12, are aimed at curbing leverage and reducing risk in the event of a sharp decline in stock prices.
On Friday, Chinese stocks suffered their worst day in almost two years, with a plunge by blue-chips dragging the main indexes into correction territory after steep falls overnight for U.S. stocks. (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Richard Borsuk)