Fear Factor


In Manila, the PSE Composite index plunged 9.3% as part of a global stock market correction

Chen Jing was one of the lucky ones. The 56-year-old retiree, who lives in Shanghai, dabbles a bit in local stocks, exchanging investment tips with what she calls her "mah-jongg friends," a group that gets together each week to play and chat. Just before the Chinese New Year holiday last month, one of her friends spoke ominously of rumors that China's government was planning a crackdown on stock speculation, including a possible tax on capital gains. Over the past 18 months, Chen's small portfolio had almost doubled in value as the Shanghai market shot straight up. So she decided to pull...

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