A goring concern

THE slowdown in China’s property market has been cruel to makers of wooden flooring. After double-digit growth for much of the past decade, sales have slumped. Kemian Wood Industry, which used to boast of the quality of its composite floorboards, took radical steps to deal with the downturn. It switched its focus to online gaming and changed its name. After its rechristening as Zeus Entertainment in early March, its share price doubled in short order. This past week, though, its transition plan hit a snag. CCTV, the state broadcaster, accused it of being one of a series of companies that are “fabricating themes and telling stories” to inflate their share prices.

Zeus Entertainment denies the allegations. But the wider trend is clear. At least 80 listed Chinese firms changed names in the first five months of this year. A hotel group rebranded itself as a high-speed rail company, a fireworks maker as a peer-to-peer lender and a ceramics specialist as a clean-energy group. Their reinventions as high-tech companies appear to have less to do with the gradual rebalancing of China’s economy than with the mania sweeping its stockmarket.

The...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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