Investor turns to Chinese cinema shares

Investor turns to Chinese cinema shares

A blockbuster weekend over the Chinese New Year gives hope to a much-troubled sector.

The Hong Kong stock exchange resumed trading on Tuesday after the long New Year’s weekend. The most notable riser on the first trading day of the ‘year of the ox’ is the cinema operator Imax China Holding, which jumped up to 88 percent during the trading day (see graph). There was also solid profit for the film studio Alibaba Pictures Group, among others.

The reason? The cinema was clearly declared dead a bit too early during the pandemic. Maoyan Entertainment, the leading online ticket retailer, reported that 5.7 billion renminbi (EUR 730 million) tickets were sold over the first five days of the Chinese New Year, up 33 percent from a year earlier.

A signal that the Chinese are rediscovering cinema with enthusiasm, now that the corona virus is contained.

According to the first preliminary data, China has dethroned the United States as the most important cinema market in the world: Maoyan estimates that the sale of cinema tickets in China last year yielded $ 3.1 billion. That is a decrease of two thirds compared to 2019, but more than the traditional American market leader.

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