Geopolitical Tensions Continue to Weigh on Global Markets

By Joyce Yu

Global equity markets continued to pull back Wednesday due to geopolitical tensions with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing 0.2% lower. The  Nasdaq shed 0.3% while the S&P 500 was flat.

VIX volatility index surged 25% Wednesday. U.S. stock futures were down Thursday morning. Over in Europe, markets fell in early trade following an easy session in Asia.

The latest market pull back may be triggered by geopolitical tensions, but has been somewhat welcomed by investors with global equities trading near record highs.

Pimco, an American investment management firm, told investors to pare U.S. equities and junk bonds, but keep exposure to real assets, such as inflation-linked debt, commodities and gold.

On corporate news, Wins Finance Holdings Inc., the Nasdaq-listed Chinese investment and asset management company that provides integrated financing solutions to small and medium enterprises in China, is facing delisting risk for alleged violations of exchange rules related to its shareholder base.

In a statement released yesterday, Wins Finance Holdings announced that on August 4, 2017, the company received a delisting determination letter from the Nasdaq who made the decision due to violations of listing rules relating to the 300 round lot shareholder requirement.

Wins said in the same statement that the company intends to request a hearing to appeal the decision.

This is not the first time Wins Finance Holdings faces delisting risk. Back in 2016, the stock was almost delisted because Nasdaq said it didn’t meet the 300 round-lot shareholder rule. The company later appealed the exchange’s decision, and said in February that it would remain listed.

Making its public debut on Nasdap in 2015, the stock had soared as much as 4,555 percent at one point, with market value surpassing $9 billion in February.

Just one month later in March, the share price tumbled after the Bloomberg News reported on its share gain. FTSE Russell removed Wins from the Russell 2000 Index, and the company’s co-CEO resigned from the head role, according to a Bloomberg report. Nasdaq also halted trading of the shares in June, saying it wouldn’t resume until Wins has “fully satisfied Nasdaq’s request for additional information.”

Bloomberg reported that Freeman FinTech Corp., a Hong Kong-based financial-services company agreed in December to buy the majority stake owned by Win’s founder for a large discount, but it is unclear right now whether the transaction will be affected by Win’s delisting risk.