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Olympic fever spreads to China's stock market

By Reuters   February 8, 2022 | 11:37 pm PT
Olympic fever spreads to China's stock market
A staff member carries awards depicting Bing Dwen Dwen, one of the mascots of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, during the flower ceremony at the 2022 Beijing Olympics in China on February 6, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Mike Blake
Olympic fever has unleashed a buying frenzy on China's stock exchange this week, with investors pouncing on shares linked to the ongoing 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, including some whose connection to the games was purely speculative.

Traders piled into Invengo Information Technology, an internet of things (IoT) developer which has no connection to the Olympics but whose Chinese name - Yuanwanggu - was interpreted as "look out for (Eileen) Gu" by social media users.

Eileen Gu, a U.S.-born Chinese athlete who won gold in freeski Big Air in Beijing on Tuesday, is one of Team China's most popular athletes and attracts more than three million followers on China's Twitter-like Weibo.

Invengo's shares soared 10 percent to hit the upper limit of daily percentage change.

"Are there any connections between the two?" one user doubted on Weibo. "It's characteristics of the A-share market." another user said.

Invengo could not be reached for comment.

"Small caps with names linked to some high-profile events often become favourite targets for Chinese punters," said Yang Hongxun, analyst at investment consultancy Shandong Shenguang.

Even if a company has business links with the Olympics games, "you need to take a closer look at its fundamentals. In most cases, price gains in such stocks are short-lived, and not sustainable."

Investors also snapped up companies which are official partners of the Olympics, on bets the games will boost their revenue.

Beijing Yuanlong Yato Culture Dissemination Co, which manufactures Olympics merchandise featuring panda mascot "Bing Dwen Dwen", jumped 10 percent for two straight sessions.

The mascots have been sold out online and generated hours-long queues at official merchandise stores. Yuanlong said it was organising and coordinating factory production to ensure supplies of official Olympics merchandise.

Cultural Investment Holdings, a licensed retailer of the Olympics merchandise, also rose 10 percent for the second straight session on Tuesday.

The firm said later in the day that selling derivative products of the games is not their main business, and influence of Olympics-related business on firm's financial performance is uncertain.

China's home-grown sports brand ANTA Sports, an official sportswear partner of the Beijing Winter Olympics, surged 6.2 percent since the games started on Feb 4.

 
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