China™s stocks fell the most in two weeks after an official manufacturing gauge signaled the first contraction in more than two years and China Minsheng Banking Corp.™s President Mao Xiaofeng resigned.

China Minsheng led declines for financial companies, sliding 4.5 percent after Caixin reported that Mao is being investigated by authorities. China Railway Construction Corp. and Air China Ltd. dropped more than 4 percent after the government™s Purchasing Managers™ Index declined to 49.8 last month from 50.1 in December. The nation™s benchmark money-market rates jumped for a fourth day after the securities regulator approved 24 initial public offerings.

The Shanghai Composite Index slid 1.9 percent to 3,147.99 at 9:37 a.m. The gauge has fallen 6.8 percent over the past five days as the government stepped up scrutiny of margin lending, while the factory data add to concern the economy is weakening.

The CSI 300 Index slid 1.9 percent. Hong Kong™s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 1.4 percent, while the Hang Seng Index dropped 0.4 percent. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index, the measure of the most-traded U.S.-listed Chinese companies, retreated 1.6 percent in New York on Jan. 30.

China™s outstanding margin debt dropped for the first time in eight days on Jan. 30 in Shanghai, according to data from the city™s bourse. It fell 0.5 percent to 773.98 billion yuan ($123 billion) from a record 777.6 billion yuan on Jan. 29.

The government™s PMI missed the median estimate of 50.2 in a Bloomberg survey of analysts and was below the 50 level separating expansion and contraction.

Source : Bloomberg