June 22, 2020 / 2:14 AM / 16 days ago

China securities regulator proposes closer cooperation with the U.S.: Caixin

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The head of China’s stock market regulator said it has proposed closer cooperation with the United States in cracking down on securities fraud and hopes the U.S. side refrains from politicising the issue, Chinese business magazine Caixin reported.

Joint inspections and checking financial paperwork would be key parts of cooperation, Yi Huiman, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in an interview with Caixin.

“More importantly, we should establish a high degree of mutual trust between regulators through adequate communication and coordination, and on the basis of that, jointly set up a law enforcement mechanism against cross-border securities misdeeds,” he was quoted as saying.

Yi’s comments come amid bilateral tensions over trade, the coronavirus and Hong Kong but which also include cross-border listings and investments.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is moving to make it harder for some Chinese companies to list in the U.S., after Nasdaq-listed Luckin Coffee <Inc LK.O> admitted to fabricating sales. U.S. regulators have also warned investors against putting money into Chinese companies due to disclosure issues.

According to Yi, the CSRC has also told the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) it is willing to discuss ways to conduct joint inspections of cross-border listed firms and has submitted concrete proposals several times, but U.S. counterparts have not actively responded.

“I think that under the current political atmosphere, PCAOB could be under some pressure... We welcome the PCAOB to sit down with us to talk at any time,” Yi was quoted as saying.

In response to U.S. complaints that the PCAOB is still unable to inspect financial paperwork in China, Yi told Caixin that China has never barred the provision of documents to foreign regulators, but under Chinese law, such information should be exchanged confidentially through regulators.

The CSRC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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