Deputy head of China's securities regulator probed for corruption

BEIJING (Reuters) - A deputy head of China's securities regulator is being investigated for suspected "serious breaches of discipline", the ruling Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog said on Friday (Nov 13), using the usual euphemism for corruption.

The brief statement by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection gave no further details of the probe into Mr Yao Gang, a vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

It was not possible to reach Mr Yao for comment and unclear if he has a lawyer or what the detailed accusations are against him.

But the move comes as the authorities work to restore confidence in the stock market after a fumbled intervention and suspicion of irregular trading following market turmoil which began in June.

Since then, the authorities have swept up market participants, journalists, fund managers and social media commentators in a crackdown on alleged market manipulation.

China's financial regulators have been under heavy pressure since stock markets collapsed in mid-June following a long bull run, though the statement made no mention of the markets.

Mr Yao, 53, is the second senior CSRC official to come under investigation following the market turmoil. He has a doctorate in economics and took up his current job in 2008, according to his official resume.

In September, the graft watchdog began a probe into an assistant chairman at the securities regulator called Zhang Yujun, also for suspected serious violations of discipline.

China's Cabinet said on Friday it had asked financial regulators to improve their supervision of market players to better protect consumer rights.