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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's securities regulator has doled out more fines, totaling almost $1 billion, in the first five months of this year than during the whole of 2016, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.
Chinese regulators have launched a raft of new rules and increased scrutiny over China's financial services sector in a bid to reduce leverage as growth in the world's second-largest economy slows.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission had slapped fines totaling 6.14 billion yuan ($901.65 million) by the end of May on those who violated securities laws, Xinhua reported, citing the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
The CSRC suspended 29 people from engaging in securities work over the same period, the regulator said.
Last year, the CSRC punished 183 illegal market activities and handed out fines worth 4.28 billion yuan ($628.52 million), up 288 percent from 2015.
The CSRC published rules at the end of May aimed at preventing major shareholders of listed companies from reducing their holdings in an "intensive, massive and disorderly" manner that "disturbed market order and dented investor confidence."
Reporting by Engen Tham; Editing by Paul Tait