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China Travel And Hotel Stocks Vault On Plan To Ease Covid Restrictions

Share prices in China’s biggest travel and hotel stocks vaulted on Friday after the government said it planned to shorten the quarantine period for international arrivals to the mainland and remove a restriction on international flights.

“Zero-Covid” rules have curbed economic growth and helped to pummel stock prices in the world’s No. 2 economy in the past year. The combined fortunes of the 100 members of the 2022 Forbes China Rich List unveiled yesterday plunged 39% from a year ago to $907.1 billion, the biggest drop in wealth since Forbes began to publish rankings of the country’s richest more than two decades ago. (See details here.)

Shanghai-headquartered Trip.com, the country’s biggest online travel agency, soared by 17% at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today to HK$234.80. Hotel chain H World Group, whose biggest shareholder is China billionaire Ji Qi, climbed by nearly 17% to HK$29.05. H World is also headquartered in Shanghai.

Among Hong Kong-based hotel concerns, Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, chaired by billionaire Michael Kadoorie, climbed 6%; its global Peninsula Hotel chain includes locations in Shanghai and Beijing, Langham Hospitality, a REIT chaired by Hong Kong billionaire Lo Ka Shui, gained 4%; and Emperor Entertainment Hotel rose by 4%. Shui On Land, the Hong Kong-based developer of Shanghai’s swank Xintiandi entertainment district, rose by 5%. It is led by Lo’s billionaire brother Vincent Lo. Overall, Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index surged 7.7% to a five-week high of 17,325.66 on Friday.

China on Friday announced plans plans to selectively lower the number of days international arrivals must quarantine in a hotel to five from seven to five, among other easing measures, CNN reported.

The absence of an actual start date didn’t discourage investors hungry for signs of an easing of the country’s hard zero-Covid rules.

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@rflannerychina