China closes 14 brokerages

Regulators have closed 14 Chinese stock brokerages and punished one more for heavy debts and financial irregularities in a campaign to clean up the country's securities markets, a news report said Friday.

Zhuang Xinyi, vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, speaking at an industry conference Thursday, said many brokerages are deep in debt due to mismanagement and market speculation, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Zhuang didn't identify the brokerages that were shut down or give a timeframe for the closures. But the country's fifth-largest, China Southern Securities, was closed in August after going bankrupt, AP reports.

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