Chinese sportswear shares jump as Winter Olympics kick off

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HONG KONG, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Shares of China's home-grown sports brands such as ANTA Sports (2020.HK) jumped more than 5% on Friday as the world's third most valuable sportswear maker is expected to be a big winner from the Beijing Winter Olympics as the games kick off.

Another likely winner is Li Ning (2231.HK) as it also looks to build on the Olympics and a broader trend among mainland consumers to be more health-conscious.

Shares of ANTA, an official sportswear partner of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Games and Paralympics Winter Games, rose as much as 5.2% to HK$122.60, their highest since Jan. 25 and set for the biggest daily percentage gain since Jan. 20.

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ANTA also owns brands such as Fila, Salomon and Descente.

Smaller rival Li Ning jumped as much as 6.6% to HK$80.35, the highest since Jan. 26, and set for the biggest daily percentage rise since Nov. 3.

"The Winter Olympics is a new stimulus for China's sports brands and ANTA and Li Ning, as the industry leaders, are set to benefit from a robust prospect for the segment going forward," said Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities.

"Their current valuation, after adjustment, also provides a good entry point for bargain hunting."

The Beijing Olympics officially opens on Friday, an occasion that Chinese President Xi Jinping said will be streamlined, safe and splendid. read more

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Reporting By Donny Kwok and Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Stephen Coates

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