November has been a very lucky month for Hong Kong, giving us a good reason to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Some investors were, however, luckier than others – thanks to what they had bet on, or chose to avoid.
Looking back, who could have predicted that Tencent — and anything associated with it — would emerge as such hot commodities, while Apple’s new iPhone would fail to yield gain for speculators?
Loyal Tencent fans are laughing all the way to the bank as their holdings in the Chinese internet giant have reached dizzying valuations, and the company seems poised for further greatness.
Meanwhile, even its spin-offs scored huge successes, with e-book publisher China Literature and online automobile transaction platform Yixin both attracting hundreds of thousands of investors.
China Literature soared as much as 100 percent on its first day of trading on November 8 and the stock is now still comfortably ahead with a more than 60 percent gain over the IPO price.
During the peak in the first week after the debut, an investor who managed to secure a minimum lot in the IPO would have made more than HK$10,000, enough to buy the new iPhone X.
Investors in Yixin were, however, less lucky. After surging as much as 32 percent in early trade on November 16, Yixin finished the first day with just 5 percent gain.
The counter later dipped below water, leaving investors with paper losses and proving that one really can’t take anything for granted in the market.
Turning away from equities, another thing that disappointed punters in Hong Kong was Apple’s latest gadget, the iPhone X.
Forget the wish that it could quadruple to HK$50,000 in the grey market, the new phone was never traded for more than 10 percent above its official price.
The main reason was that, unlike the situation during previous launches, there was no supply gap in the mainland market.
Although Apple’s Hong Kong online store is showing that the iPhone X is unavailable for orders now, there are reports that some people managed to buy the devices by just walking into local mobile phone shops.
The iPhone X grey market came as a nasty surprise to speculators, but there are other things that ran true to expectations.
The scorching Singles’ Day sales at Alibaba Group, for instance.
This year, the famous Double 11 festival, China’s version of Thanksgiving Black Friday, yielded sales worth US$25.3 billion within a 24-hour period, up 40 percent compared to November 11 last year.
Including the sales that began earlier in the week in honor of the event, the Chinese e-commerce giant is said to have reaped as much as US$38 billion in gross merchandise value due to the festival.
The world’s biggest online shopping day prompted Alibaba’s rivals and other vendors to join the frenzy, leading to as many as 1.38 billion parcels, roughly the same as the population of China, getting shipped during the festival.
There is no way the United States can catch up with China with the former’s own sales on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
To put the numbers in context, US retailers notched around US$3 billion in sales during Black Friday last year and US$3.45 billion during the so-called Cyber Monday.
Though Alibaba is not listed in Hong Kong, the record Singles’ Day sales has helped boost sentiment further on the tech sector here.
Hong Kong people raised a cheer this week as the benchmark Hang Seng Index broke above the 30,000-points level for the first time in more than 10 years.
The index is up nearly 37 percent year to date, far surpassing a 19 percent gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street.
Thank you, Tencent, Alibaba and the HSI.
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