China appoints new central bank governor


China appointed Agricultural Bank chief Mr Shang Fulin as top securities market regulator, replacing Mr Zhou Xiaochuan who was named central bank governor over the weekend, state newspapers said today.

Mr Shang (51) general manager of the Agricultural Bank of China, had been elected an alternate member of the powerful Communist Party Central Committee in November, and now takes the helm of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) that oversees the nation's $500 billion stock markets, the papers said.

The Xinhua News Agency said on Saturday that Mr Zhou would take over the stewardship of the People's Bank of China, in the first reshuffle of key economic posts since a generational change in the Communist Party leadership at a key congress in November.

China is laying ground for a sweeping reshuffle of cabinet ministers, including top posts at key economic bodies such as the the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Finance.

Mr Shang, a finance graduate who had been a deputy central bank governor before joining the Agricultural Bank, had been tipped to take up the pivotal securities post. The CSRC regulates all securities markets in China, Asia's second largest after Japan, including bonds and futures markets.

Analysts expected few policy changes under Mr Shang, despite being viewed as a market outsider.