Japan has a new hero in the diminutive form of 13-year-old gold medal-winning skateboarder Momiji Nishiya. Investors are betting that’s good news for stocks connected to a sport that has considerable room to grow in the country.
Shares in Morito Co., which distributes skateboarding gear, surged 12% Monday after Nishiya’s victory in the Olympic women’s street skateboarding event. Another Japanese athlete, Funa Nakayama, won bronze in the same event, while on Sunday 22-year-old Yuto Horigome took gold for Japan in the men’s skateboarding event.
Other stocks also climbed as investors and retail traders scrambled for names they thought could benefit from the wins. Mixi Inc., whose unit sponsors Horigome, rose the most in seven weeks, while TSI Holdings Co., which owns a U.S. skateboarding e-commerce site, saw a 3.2% increase.
Even tangentially related stocks got a boost, with frozen seafood-seller Hohsui Corp. at one point surging as much as 9.5% on volume more than 4,000% the three-month daily average. Its building and logo were prominently visible in the background of the skateboarding medal ceremonies for Nishiya and Horigome at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.
“While these stocks probably won’t rally for an extended period, retail investors could continue to be on a lookout for Olympic-related stocks,” said Shoichi Arisawa, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities Co. “We can expect to see more action from Japanese athletes, so investors may also try to buy these relevant picks in advance.”
Skateboarding is making its debut at the Tokyo Games, and expectations are high that it could lift public awareness of the sport in Japan. There are more possibilities to come for the country, with 15-year-old women’s park skateboarding world champion Misugu Okamoto widely tipped to medal on Aug. 4.
The host country is widely expected to take home a record number of medals at the Olympics, with the likes of tennis, gymnastics and baseball all expected to add to the six gold medals it has claimed to date from events including judo and swimming.
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