Hot pot stocks slide after family gets coronavirus in HK

Chinese hot pot stocks skidded in Hong Kong yesterday, after members of the same family who shared a large dinner in January were confirmed to have the coronavirus.
Xiabuxiabu Catering Management China Holdings Co., a major hot pot restaurant operator, fell as much as 8.3% before closing down 7.1%. Peer Haidilao International Holding Ltd. ended 4.8% lower while Yihai International Holding Ltd., which makes seasonings and sauce products for hot pot, dropped 2.7%.
Nine of the 19 people who had joined a family gathering on Jan. 26 have been infected with the virus after sharing a hot pot and barbecue meal, said Hong Kong’s department of health on Sunday night. Hot pot is a popular Chinese cuisine in which food is cooked in a communal bowl.
The hot pot sector was a strong spot for Hong Kong’s struggling stock market in 2019. Yihai was one of the best performing stocks on the Hang Seng Composite Index last year with a 139% surge, while Haidilao rose 82%. Both are near 2019’s closing levels while Xiabuxiabu has skidded 22% this year, making it one of the index’s biggest decliners. Bloomberg

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