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China's forex regulator fines Haitong AM, Lion Fund for misusing QDII quotas

SHANGHAI, Dec 4 (Reuters) - China's foreign currency regulator has fined two Chinese asset managers for misusing offshore investment quotas, part of government efforts this year to crack down on illegal forex transactions and ward off systemic risks.

In one case, the asset management unit of Haitong Securities Co provided Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) quotas to unqualified companies, and cheated the regulator, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement on its website.

Haitong Asset Management was fined 7.75 million yuan ($1.17 million) for facilitating illegal transfer of funds worth $16.28 million.

In the other case, Lion Fund Management Co bought and sold U.S. dollars using its QDII quota for currency arbitrage, and was fined nearly 1 million yuan, SAFE said in the statement on Friday.

QDII allows Chinese investors to buy overseas stocks and bonds. Issuance of fresh quotas under the scheme was suspended two years ago as part of Beijing's efforts to stem capital outflows at the time.

So far, SAFE has issued a total of 89.99 billion yuan worth of QDII quotas to 132 institutions. ($1 = 6.6181 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Kim Coghill)