EV Battery Giant CATL Becomes China’s Second-Biggest Stock
(Bloomberg) -- China investor favorite Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. hit a fresh record on Monday, overtaking a state-owned bank to become the second-largest company listed onshore.
With a market capitalization of nearly 1.59 trillion yuan ($249 billion) at the close, the Tesla supplier narrowly surpassed Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. at 1.55 trillion yuan. Chinese liquor maker Kweichow Moutai Co. remains the number-one stock with a market value of 2.33 trillion yuan.
Expectation that CATL will be included in China’s benchmark CSI 300 Index when a rebalancing decision is announced later this month helped send the stock 6.6% higher on Monday, its steepest gain in more than a month. The firm may become the second-heaviest in the gauge after Moutai with an around 4% weighting, which would bring an estimated 9 billion yuan worth of passive inflows, Sinolink Securities analysts wrote in a note.
The company currently has an almost 21% weighting in China’s Nasdaq-style ChiNext Index.
U.S. President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion tax and spending bill, passed by the House on Friday, is seen to significantly expand the country’s demand for lithium batteries and provide opportunities for Chinese EV supply chain leaders including CATL, China International Capital Corp. analysts including Zeng Tao wrote in a Sunday note.
Based in the southeastern province of Fujian, CATL is the world’s largest manufacturer of power batteries and materials and also counts auto giants Daimler, BMW, BAIC Motor Corp as its customers. Shares of the bellwether of China’s EV supply chain have nearly doubled this year, amid Beijing’s vigorous support for green vehicles and carbon neutrality.
CATL replaced Moutai as the stock most held by mutual fund managers in the third quarter, according to a Shanghai Securities News report. Its shares are up 2600% from its mid-2018 initial public offering, with stock placements and lock-up expiries yet to affect the upward trajectory.
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