The rise of pajamas traders

August 26, 2020 10:12
Photo: HKEX

One common trait I recently noticed from my friends – not necessarily Hong Kong Chinese – that they are all good stock punters.

They were not natural born ones, though, given they are mostly non-financial professionals. Still they are all looking for some excitement because life is so boring.

With stock punting, they now have something to brag about. Whether it is the four big tech giants ATMX (Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan Dianping and Xiaomi), the China’s answer to the surging Gang of Four (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook), the stay-at-home plays, and speculate which stocks would rebound the most in case things gradually return to normal.

Stock market provides a relief to a painful world with high unemployment as the global economy is still half closed in the battle against Covid-19.

But some stocks are good medicine if you get the right one, such as Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (0388) and Tencent (0700). Meanwhile, it is so much fun to watch the race between Meituan and to cross the HK$300 price line.

Meituan is a good example of how Chinese companies would benefit from Covid-19. The food delivery firm turned profitable in the first half-year as more people ordered food because restaurants were closed.

Meituan found their users place bigger orders. Also, it is believed that because more people were unemployed, they found ample workers available for delivery at a lower cost. As a result, margins improved.

In addition to meal delivery, the company is actively planning to go big on delivering groceries as well.

After all, not many people made money from wearing pajamas at home. Smart stock punting made this dream come true.

Of course, Hang Seng Index was still down about 10 per cent this year, and more people are still sitting with a handful of lemons in their portfolio. Too bad if you are still holding HSBC, which you are not entitled to any dividends, but also you are only watching the fun party.

What can provide more excitement than Next Digital, which staged an unexpected miracle comeback after chairman Jimmy Lai was arrested and his publication is at the brink of dawn and darkness.

Well, no doubt stock markets could provide the sort of excitement to its fans in good times or bad. Happy punting!

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EJ Insight writer