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Yahoo BusinessAug 11, 2020
An 1,100% Stock Gain Is Hong Kong's New Protest Rallying Cry
(Bloomberg) -- They've occupied Hong Kong's central business district, marched by the hundreds of thousands through the city's streets and endured tear gas and pepper spray in pitched battles with riot police.Now Hong Kong's pro-democracy supporters are wielding a new protest weapon: their stock-market trading accounts.To show support for Jimmy Lai, the publisher and outspoken government critic who was arrested Monday under the city's new national security law, Hongkongers have been piling into shares of his media company, Next Digital Ltd. The result: a more than 1,100% surge in two days that propelled the stock to a seven-year high."There are a huge number of retail investors buying," said Castor Pang, head of research at Core Pacific-Yamaichi. "If you just look at the bid-ask price and the size of single trades, most are super small."The record gain, organized via online forums, underscores the challenge Chinese and Hong Kong officials face as they try to stamp out the city's pro-democracy movement. Residents are turning to alternative forms of protest after policy makers curtailed public demonstrations with social distancing restrictions and the national security legislation.Buying Next Digital's stock could in theory help Lai financially, if he or the company decide to sell shares or borrow against holdings. Lai controls 71% of Next Digital, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The rally has lifted its market value by more than HK$2.6 billion ($335 million).The company said late Tuesday in a Hong Kon
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