UNLIKELY WINNERS

“Emperor” stocks surged in China on news Xi Jinping could rule for life

Obsession
China's Transition
Obsession
China's Transition

China’s ruling Communist Party on Sunday (Feb. 25) proposed to abolish a constitutional limit on presidential terms, paving the way for president Xi Jinping to stay in power beyond his due retirement in 2022—and perhaps for life. While the move has been heavily criticized, it’s also been a boon for Chinese speculators.

Stocks with the word “emperor” in their names outperformed the two mainland Chinese bourses yesterday (Feb. 26), the first day of trading following the news. Among the top gainers were Shenzhen Emperor Technology Company, which provides software for ID card issuers. Its share price surged nearly 10% at one point, and was up 7% for the day.

It is not uncommon for Chinese speculators to bet on evocative company names. After Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, shares jumped in Shenzhen-listed Wisesoft Co Ltd, whose Chinese name sounds like “Trump’s big win.”

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