(Write through with more details, quotes) SHANGHAI, July 9 (Reuters) - Chinese official media onThursday urged retail stock investors to be prudent, whileregulators moved against illegal margin lending, betrayingBeijing's concern that a much-touted bull run could turn into arepeat of a spectacular boom and bust five years ago. Investors didn't heed the message, pushing benchmark indexeshigher for the eighth day in heavy turnover and taking gains sofar this month to 16%, testing top securities regulator YiHuiman's pledge in June to refrain from market intervention. "The tragic lesson of abnormal stock market volatility in2015 remains vivid, cautioning us that we must promote a healthyand prosperous stock market in a correct posture," the ChinaSecurities Journal said in an editorial, referring to the lastcrash that sent shockwaves through global markets. The newspaper, which is affiliated with state-run XinhuaNews Agency, said investors should respect the market, managerisks and pursue rational investments. The warning came just days after an editorial in the samepaper said China needs a bull market to build strength "in achanging world", adding fuel to the rally. Thursday's commentary came hours after the China SecuritiesRegulatory Commission (CSRC) published a list of 258 illegalmargin lending platforms and their operators in an apparent moveto calm markets. In a live broadcast late on Tuesday, Xiao Gang, who was CSRCchairman during the last crash, expressed remorse that disastercould have been averted if regulators had cracked down onillegal lending earlier. The lesson from the meltdown is that "the valley is as deepas the height of a mountain. The higher prices rise, the moreviolently, or more rapidly, they fall," he said. In the last rout, more than $5 trillion was wiped off thecapitalization of the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets afterthey peaked in June 2015 and the government was forced to mountan unprecedented rescue. The economy and financial system are onrockier ground now as the country slowly recovers from thecoronavirus crisis and faces heightened Sino-U.S. tensions. Liu Wencai, a former official at the China Financial FuturesExchange cautioned that many retail investors could get burned. "A further rapid rise in the stock market could lure in moremoney, including bank deposits, leaving those savers - who aremostly late comers - vulnerable to a stampede," said Liu, who isnow founder of Shanghai-based risk-management consultancyD-Union. But investors' euphoria remained unabated on Thursday, withmoney gushing into stocks and mutual funds, pushing thevaluation of sectors such as tech into frothy territory.Shanghai's tech-heavy STAR Market is now trading at roughly 100times earnings. Gao Xiqing, a former vice chairman of CSRC, said that afteryears of reform Chinese regulators should be mature enough torefrain from paternalistic interference in normal trading. "Regulators should not be given the responsibility ofjudging whether the market is too high or too low, bubbly ornot," Gao said in a live broadcast this week. "Investors should evaluate quality of listed companiesthemselves." Wen Hao, CEO of investment advisor Hao Fei Brothers, brushedaside concerns of a bubble, saying the rally reflects China'searly economic recovery and hopes for a technology revolution. REUTERS
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