Debt-stricken Suntech Power Holdings (STP.NYSE) has applied for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands, where it is incorprated, Reuters reported. This move suggests that China’s one-time solar giant may end up quitting the market amid a prolonged downturn in the solar industry. Suntech’s shares fell as much as 23% to US$1.15 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Rapid capacity expansion by Chinese manufacturers from around 2008 created a global glut of panels just as countries in Europe, traditionally the largest solar market, withdrew subsidies to consumers. The subsequent fall in prices forced many producers to shutter production.
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