Stock market action from around the world, with a focus on Hong Kong, China and the rest of Asia.

How China’s very own Starbucks went bust
Luckin Coffee, once hailed as China’s homegrown rival to Starbucks, has found itself in seriously hot water.  The chain was forced to file for bankruptcy earlier last month amid claims it engaged in the phenomenon of “adding water.”  The term “adding water,” or jia shuifen, harkens to a practice of manipulating accounting statistics to create false narratives. In Luckin’s case, it involved the alleged fabrication of more than US$340million in revenue to give investors the impression it was experiencing miraculous growth.  It is an ignoble end to a company that grew at record-breaking speed and - if only for a brief period - represented the global ambitions of many homegrown Chinese brands.
The coronavirus may have invited the next global financial crisis
The US Federal Reserve has just cut interest rates by half a percentage point and the Reserve Bank of Australia by a quarter of a percentage point, while some expect the European Central Bank, with interest rates already at zero, to directly fund small and medium-sized enterprises. These central banks are acting like they can save the world, but markets are unconvinced. It seems that the central banks, after playing markets like maestros with quantitative easing and extremely low-interest rates, have finally met their match in Covid-19. Central bank moves are sustaining the largest financial bubble in human history. After 2008, these banks helped the global economy recover by jacking up asse
Stocks tumble, masks run out as coronavirus goes global
The spread of the new coronavirus has eased in China but worsened elsewhere, adding to fears of a global pandemic.  South Korea on Friday reported more new infections of the virus than any other country did, after overtaking China’s daily tally for the first time on Thursday. Several countries in Europe and South America have reported their first coronavirus cases this week. And Italy and Iran have emerged as new regional centers of the outbreak of the Covid-19 disease. The continued global spread of the virus has spooked investors and prompted governments to ramp up their emergency responses to fend off a public health crisis that could upset their economies. The US stock market saw a histo
ZTE shares plunge as senators fight to cut Trump’s lifeline
It’s one piece of bad news after another for ZTE Corp these days. Shares in the Chinese telecommunications giant plunged by as much as 41% when they resumed trading in Hong Kong on Wesdnesay after a two-month hiatus, and by as much as the daily limit of 10% on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The fall wiped almost $3 billion off the market value of the world’s fourth-largest telecoms equipment maker. It’s the latest in a long line of blows to ZTE, which is struggling to get back on its feet after the US Commerce Department imposed a seven-year ban on the company from buying any US components – a move which crippled its operations. And while last week the Trump administration announced it had neg