Sectors Shares

China to ramp up crackdown on illegal fundraising

* Beijing to monitor financial firms in illegal fundraising probe

* Illegal fundraising in China still severe

* Real estate firms to be probed for misconduct (Recasts, adds details)

SHANGHAI, April 23 (Reuters) - China said on Monday it will closely monitor interest rates charged by private lenders, securities companies and futures firms to crack down on illegal fundraising.

China has been dogged by a series of high-profile financial scams in recent years which often end up harming members of the public, some of whom have invested their life savings.

While incidents of illegal fundraising in China are decreasing, the situation remains severe, according to a release issued jointly by several regulators at a Beijing news conference.

China's supreme court said illegal fundraising severely damages market order and national financial security, according to the release.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said it will continue to fend off risks from internet financing, adding that all platforms offering initial coin offering (ICOs) and bitcoin exchanges have been safely closed down.

Financing intermediaries, online finance platforms, real estate and agriculture are all major areas of illegal fundraising, the statement said.

Illegal fundraising often finds its way into real estate speculation in China, pushing housing prices higher.

The housing ministry said it will improve its monitoring of the property market and increase a crackdown on illegal activities by real estate developers and intermediaries.

(Reporting by Shu Zhang in Beijing and Engen Tham in Shanghai; Editing by Kim Coghill)

First Published: 2018-04-23 08:41:59
Updated 2018-04-23 10:05:19

© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.