BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- China's securities regulator announced here Tuesday that the country has established an investor protection bureau, in a move to better protect the rights and interests of Chinese investors in the capital market.
The bureau, which has already been put into operation, will be responsible for drafting and reviewing laws and regulations that protect investors and help establish an education and service system for investors, said the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) in a press release.
Despite a rising number of institutional investors, China's capital market is still dominated by individual investors, who often lack professional knowledge and are at the same time "insensitive but vulnerable to risks," said the CSRC.
China has more than 72 million individual investors, accounting for 11 percent of the country's urban population, 80 percent of which only own stocks of market value less than 100,000 yuan (15,748 U.S.dollars), according to the CSRC.
But they have contributed more than 80 percent of the total market turnover in 2011, it said.
They have natural disadvantages in obtaining market information and professional ability, which lead to easy infringements of their rights and interests, said the commission.
The bureau will also assist the establishment of a remedial system to make up for the violated interests of investors, monitor the management and operation of the country's investor protection funds, and promote communication and cooperation with other investor protection organizations.
China's mainland had become the third-largest equity market after the United States and Japan by the end of 2011, according to the CSRC.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pledged at the national financial work conference over the weekend to enhance regulation of the the equity markets to better protect investors' legal rights and interests.