Hot pot, but not hot pot stocks

December 22, 2021 12:04
Photo: CGTN

For a change, in the run-up to Christmas, the weather is not hot nor cold, but wet.

Still it is this time of the year that we think about hot pot.

Thanks to the easing of social gatherings in the relatively unaffected part of the world, we are now going out more for festive celebrations.

Hot pot restaurant is definitely the place to be when you are wearing multiple layers of clothing, and especially so when all the visual of raw beef fat comes to your mind.

Who could forget the dine-in ban last Christmas?

Well, for a revenge, the crowd is back. Sorry folks, no more walk-in. Table time limit returns.

We definitely hope this could continue. After all, despite a stable public health situation, we have to live with strict quarantine rules which have already lasted for nearly two years.

Therefore, it leaves us no option to make ourselves happy except eating and eating.

Hot pot is definitely a dining option, although it is probably not for everyone. Not because hot pot restaurants are one of the early spots that transmitted coronavirus in Hong Kong last year, it is more because some people believe hot pot cannot showcase the culinary skills behind Chinese cuisine.

Besides, much like buffet, hot pot lovers usually find it hard to stop eating.

Be careful not just about the hot pot, but also some of the hot pot stocks.

In one of the biggest share collapses this year, Haidilao International (06862.HK) , the world’s biggest hot pot chain and a blue-chip stock tumbled to yesterday’s closing of HK$17.04, a more than 70 per cent drop year-to-date.

The Sichuan-based company, debuted at HK$17.8 in 2018, was added to the benchmark Hang Seng index in March, which turned out to be the time when the stock was beginning to peak out.

Apparently Haidilao picked a wrong time to expand when more people chose to eat at home.

Last month, the company raised US$300 million via a placement at HK$20.43, but the stock kept sliding afterwards. Subscribers to those new shares would be sitting on a 16 percent loss now.

Much like accidentally eating food that is scalding hot, Haidilao investors who got burned must have a similar on fire feeling.

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EJ Insight writer