HK regulator pursues officers of company whose shares jumped 3,500%

HONG KONG, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's markets regulator said on Wednesday it will begin legal proceedings for market manipulation against one or more officers of a company whose shares jumped over 3,500% in 18 months.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) also said in a statement that trading in shares of company, China Ding Yi Feng Holdings, which has been suspended since March 2019, can resume.

An angry group of investors protested outside the SFC's Hong Kong offices late last year, urging the regulator to lift the suspension so they could trade their shares.

China Ding Yi Feng uses a combination of modern investment techniques and traditional Chinese culture to guide investment decisions, and each morning its staff read the Daoist philosopher, Laozi, according to its website.

The SFC twice last year ordered groups of nine brokers to freeze trading in the company's shares. Those shares, which account for 32% of the total, remain frozen, the regulator said on Wednesday.

"We only have two goals: immediately resume trading and safeguard the interests of investors. Even if they don’t resume trading, I want my money," said Jacky Zhang, from the neighbouring mainland Chinese city of Shenzhen, told Reuters in December, saying he owned Ding Yi Feng shares worth HK$3.6 million ($460,070).

Company officials were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Alun John and Sarah Wu; additional reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Kim Coghill)