Bread makers, TV broadcasters, toy companies and regional banks are some of Tokyo traders’ favorite stocks this week, all thanks to Pokemon.
The craze surrounding the mobile game “Pokemon Go” has spread far beyond its maker Nintendo Co., whose shares have surged more than 70 percent since the app’s launch on July 6.
It is now spurring rallies in companies even loosely related to the little pocket monsters’ resurgence.
First Baking Co., which counts among its products Pokemon bread, soared by the most in almost 2½ years on Thursday, toymaker Tomy Co. closed at its highest in more than a decade, and TV Tokyo Holdings Corp., which broadcasts the cartoon on Thursday evenings, at one stage was heading for its biggest gain on record. As Nintendo’s fifth-largest shareholder, Bank of Kyoto Ltd. jumped 36 percent in four days.
“This is all very amusing,” said Seiichiro Iwamoto, a senior fund manager at Mizuho Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “Speculative traders are having a lot of fun.”
Game developers around the world also watched in astonishment as the mobile version of the beloved 1990s game became an instant hit. “Pokemon Go” has shot to the top of download charts since it debuted, with Nintendo working to boost server capacity to introduce the location-based smartphone game in markets beyond the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.
Mizuho’s Iwamoto says it is too early to say how much the popularity of the game will transfer to the companies’ earnings. There may be more share gains as the game reaches other countries, but the rally will probably fizzle in coming days, he said.
“Things should calm down soon,” Iwamoto said. “Then we can all be a bit more realistic about how these companies are going to benefit from ‘Pokemon Go.’ I think the stocks have priced in the game enough for now.”
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