Luxury Loses Allure as China, Hong Kong Dent Demand
(Bloomberg) -- The outlook for Europe’s luxury-goods stocks just got bleaker, as UBS Group warned of Chinese clients’ growing disaffection with brands like Richemont’s Cartier, and Italy’s Moncler SpA sounded the alarm about protracted social upheaval in Hong Kong.
Shares in Moncler, the Italian company best known for its puffer jackets, were down 4.9% as of 12:08 p.m. in Milan, leading declines on Europe’s Stoxx 600 Personal and Household Goods Index. Chief Executive Officer Remo Ruffini told the Ansa newswire he’s “cautious” about the full-year sales trend due to Hong Kong and other macroeconomic factors.
It’s not limited to apparel, nor to Hong Kong. UBS on Wednesday slapped a sell recommendation on Cie Financiere Richemont SA, and gave a bearish view on Swatch Group AG, based on findings from its sentiment tracker on China’s WeChat that show waning momentum for their key Cartier and Omega brands among affluent Chinese customers, the luxury industry’s biggest growth engine.
Shares in the two companies fell 2.3% and 3.1%, respectively, leading declines on Switzerland’s SMI Index.
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