China’s Anta strikes gold with Eileen Gu-mania

2022 Beijing Olympics – Victory Ceremony – Freestyle Skiing – Women’s Freeski Big Air – Beijing Medals Plaza, Beijing, China – February 8, 2022. Gold medallist Gu Ailing Eileen of China celebrates on the podium. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

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HONG KONG, Feb 11 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Team China’s Eileen Gu is winning over local sports fans and investors alike. Mainland stocks associated with the American-born freestyle skier and fashion model rallied this week as she ascended the podium at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, including her sponsor China Mengniu Dairy . Traders even piled into read more internet-of-things specialist Invengo Information Technology (002161.SZ), whose Chinese name sounds like “look out for Gu”.

The $45 billion Anta Sports (2020.HK) is the clearest winner. Its shares are up 67% since signing Gu as its brand ambassador in January 2020. The company, which led a roughly $5.2 billion takeover of Finnish ski-wear specialist Amer in 2018, is betting that China’s nascent winter sports market will take off following the games. Online sales of ski goggles, ice hockey sticks and more have surged read more recently. At a punchy 30 times forecast 2022 earnings though, Anta shares are performing some risky feats. (By Thomas Shum)

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(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.)

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Editing by Robyn Mak and Katrina Hamlin

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https://www.reuters.com/breakingviews/chinas-anta-strikes-gold-with-eileen-gu-mania-2022-02-11/

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