Ant Financial's Yu'e Bao caps daily investment at $3,000

FILE PHOTO - A logo of Ant Financial is displayed at the Ant Financial event in Hong Kong, China November 1, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/ File Photo

US-ANT-FINANCIAL-FUND-REGULATION:Ant Financial's Yu'e Bao caps daily investment at $3,000

BEIJING (Reuters) - Ant Financial's money market fund will cap the daily amount users can invest at 20,000 yuan ($3,000) from Friday, said Tianhong Asset Management Co Ltd, which manages the fund.

The decision to impose a daily cap comes six months after Tianhong set a total investment cap of 250,000 yuan per person for the fund, amid heightening regulation of online lenders.

Ant Financial is the payment affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

In a statement on Thursday, Tianhong said it made the changes "to safeguard the interests of investors, better service public investors and adhere to our position as a small cash management tool."

Chinese finance regulators have stepped up restrictions this year in an effort rein in rapid growth in the country's online finance sector.

Earlier this month, it circulated new rules barring online micro-lenders from operating without proper licensing.

Online lending and wealth management tools have flourished in China, where mobile payments are popular and regulation has historically been relaxed.

Set up in 2013, Yu'e Bao is now one of the biggest money market funds in the world, and is integrated with Ant Financial's payment app Alipay.

The fund is targeted at individual investors and earlier this year Ant Financial said the average consumer invested roughly 3,800 yuan in the fund.

(Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Susan Fenton and Mark Potter)

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