China's top securities regulator Xiao Gang will step down following months of turmoil in the Chinese stock markets, the state-run news agency said Saturday.

Xiao, a legal expert who has had decades of experience in the finance sector, was appointed to the position in March 2013. Since last summer, the composite index of the Shanghai stock market has fallen sharply from a high of more than 5,100 points, prompting calls for him to step down. The market closed at 2,860 on Friday.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Xiao would be replaced by Liu Shiyu, chairman of the Agriculture Bank of China.

Liu was trained in engineering at the prestigious Tsinghua University but has started a career in the state banking sector since the late 1980s. Liu served as the deputy governor of the People's Bank of China from 2006 to 2016.