The China Securities Regulatory Commission has banned Guotai Junan Securities from acting as a market maker for the mainland’s over-the-counter market from February 29 to May 29 as punishment for market manipulation, South China Morning Post reported, citing a statement from the regulator. Guotai Junan was found to have manipulated shares in 16 companies listed on the new third board, home to 5,800 listed firms, many of them start-ups lacking the profit records needed to raise funds publicly. The brokerage quoted prices for the stocks at levels substantially different from market prices, increasing volatility and causing share prices for 13 of the companies to fall more than 10% on December 31.
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