The Beijing government has announced the decision to end the quarantine obligation for incoming tourists, starting from 8 January. Thus ends one of the pillars of the zero Covid policy – zero tolerance towards the Covid pandemic – pursued by China, which lasted almost three years. At the same time, on the Hong Kong stock exchange, the shares of funeral home companies jump, while there is a boom in Covid infections and hospitalizations, according to some sources also of deaths in China, after the decision of the authorities to loosen the anti- Covid imposed until recently to stem the infections.
A line of around 40 hearses waiting to enter a cremation facility was spotted in Beijing’s Tongzhou district, Reuters news agency reported.
Result: on the Hong Kong stock exchange, operators are betting on a boom in deaths and cremations: thus the prices of stocks such as those of Fu Shou Yuan International Group jump, which last Friday tested the 2022 record at 7.04 Hong dollars Kong, after a jump of almost +80% in the last two months.
With a market capitalization of more than $2 billion, Fu Shou Yuan International made its debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2013, backed by international asset management giant Carlyle Group and hedge fund Farallon Investors.
It is the largest operator in China that manages cemeteries and funeral services.
Recent rallies have lifted Fu Shou Yuan International Group stock to a record high in more than a year. And the recent buy boom has also allowed equities, which had suffered a plunge of almost 40% up to November, to veer into positive territory in terms of YTD performance, with a gain since the beginning of 2022 now equal to +15%.
The stock continues to run and in last Friday’s session (the Hong Kong stock exchange is closed today), it jumped by more than 9%.
The Beijing government, known for the lockdown measures and restrictions launched in an attempt to stop Covid infections, has been forced to loosen the various restrictions in recent weeks, following the strong protests that have exploded in various areas of China.
Protests and demonstrations, reports CNN, never so widespread since the Tiananmen protests of 1989.
Several students have organized demonstrations at various universities; in general, people have poured into the streets of Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Lanzhou, and other cities, according to videos that have been circulating on social media. The protests intensified following the fire in Urumqi, Xinjiang, which had been under lockdown for months, in which ten people had lost their lives.
According to the protests, the very checks launched by the local authorities to guarantee the isolation of the residents would have delayed the arrival of the firefighters, causing deaths.