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From "To Fix China, Look to Korea":

Earlier this week, markets made clear how little they think of China's attempts to revamp the giant, state-owned companies that dominate its economy. After the government approved the merger of two massive shipping groups, two of their listed subsidiaries swiftly shed more than $850 million in value on Monday.

I'd like to know exactly what "shed" means in this context. Does it mean that those subsidiaries got rid of their assets amounting to more than $850 million?

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I've added the first sentence of the article to your quote. This sentence makes the meaning clear. The market value of these subsidiaries declined swiftly. Their equity securities lost $850 in value during the Monday trading session. In short, their stock depreciated on the market. – CowperKettle Jan 16 at 10:32
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Thank you for the comment and edit. Now I know how I can make my questions more clear next time I ask! – Dana Jan 16 at 11:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, that's what it means. Companies can shed assets in the same way a snake will shed its skin. Sometimes the action is deliberate (like when a company is downsizing), and sometimes it's an unintended consequence (like when a company's stock value plummets). The verb shed could be used in either situation.


As a footnote, I noticed this is your first question, so I'm going to give you a hint. In the future, when you ask a question like this one, things will go better if you do two things:

1) Tell us where you found the sentence. If you got it from an online news article, for example, provide a link. That way, people answering your question can get more context if needed. (CopperKettle did that this time, but you'll know what to do next time.)

2) Tell us where you looked the word up in a dictionary, and tell us what you found there. That way, people don't waste time by providing you information that you already know.

Questions that follow these guidelines tend to get more upvotes and fewer negative comments. You can read more about what I am saying at this meta post.

Welcome to ELL!

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To shed in the sentence means to lose. If you replace it with "to lose", it will make sense. To shed means:

To part with, separate from, leave off; cast off, let fall, be divested of

It doesn't mean that those subsidiaries got rid of their assets amounting to more than $850 million because to get rid of connotes a voluntary action. Losing as much as $850 million could not be voluntary. The loss was caused by the merger approved by the Chinese government.

[Wiktionary]

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