China fines traders in Shanghai-Hong Kong stock manipulation case

SHANGHAI, March 13 (Reuters) - China's securities regulator

has fined a group of stock traders more than $173 million for

market manipulation, including via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock

Connect in the first cross-border case of its kind involving the

scheme.

Tang Hanbo and another person, Wang Tao, made 41.9 million

yuan ($6 million) in illicit profits by manipulating shares of

Zhejiang China Commodities City Group Co Ltd through

trading accounts in Hong Kong and Shanghai, the China Securities

Regulatory Commission said in a statement published on Friday.

Tang and others also made 250 million yuan manipulating

other stocks in mainland China, it said.

The combined penalties amounted to 1.2 billion yuan ($173.76

million), it said.

Tang and Wang could not be reached for a comment.

The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme, launched in

late 2014, allows foreigners to access China's mainland "A"

shares through the Hong Kong exchange (HKEx), and mainlanders to

access Hong Kong shares through the Shanghai exchange, subject

to daily quotas.

Late last year, mainland and Hong Kong authorities launched

an extension of the connect scheme that links the bourse in the

southern Chinese city of Shenzhen with the Hong Kong stock

exchange.

The CSRC has pledged to strengthen cooperation with Hong

Kong's securities regulator to prevent and crack down on

manipulation, and promote the healthy operation of investment

links between the two markets.

($1 = 6.9059 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)