By Yongchang Chin
Shares of Chinese sporting-goods companies rallied Wednesday after Beijing unveiled details of a mass fitness program as part of its 14th five-year plan.
Hong Kong-listed Anta Sports Products Ltd. was up 5.4% by the midday break at 183.20 Hong Kong dollars, taking year-to-date gains to 49%. Li Ning Co. and Pou Sheng International Holdings Ltd. gained 8.4% and 3.8%, respectively.
Chinese officials said late Tuesday that the country aims to grow its sports industry into a 5 trillion yuan ($772.75 billion) sector, and that it plans to add or expand more than 2,000 sports venues including sports parks, fitness centers and stadiums by 2025.
It also set a goal to raise the number of people who regularly exercise to 38.5% of its population, from 37.2% before the start of the current plan, to tackle health issues like obesity.
Other measures unveiled include requiring students to spend an hour a day each in school and outside school on sports activities, as well as moving to integrate its sports and tourism industries to increase the supply of sports amenities and services.
U.S. bank Jefferies estimates that the goal to expand the sports industry implies a compounded annual growth rate of 9.4%. It has buy ratings on Li Ning and Pou Sheng.
"We believe there is huge room for future growth for Anta and Li Ning," said Lei Yang, executive director of China research at China Galaxy International Financial Holdings Ltd.
Write to Yongchang Chin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Corrections & Amplifications
This story was corrected at 0647 GMT. The earlier version incorrectly said students would be required to spend an hour a day on sports activities.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires