GameStop’s wild ride has even Indian retail traders joining in

Bloomberg January 28 | Updated on January 28, 2021 Published on January 28, 2021

The videogame retailer was among five most-traded names over the past week on Stockal, a platform for Indian retail investors to trade US equities

India’s day traders are strapping in for the GameStop Corp ride that’s taken equity markets by storm.

The videogame retailer was among the five most-traded names over the past week on Stockal, a platform for Indian retail investors to trade US equities. GameStop accounted for about 15 per cent of all trades on the platform, co-founder and co-chief executive officer Sitashwa Srivastava said in an interview.

Also read: GameStop rally quashes hedge funds, brings calls for scrutiny

“We were not expecting Indians would be on Reddit, reading about GameStop,” Srivastava said. Unlike many of their options-heavy WallStreetBets counterparts, Indian traders aren’t allowed to take on leverage while trading foreign stocks, he said. “These are all trading in cash.”

GameStop has exploded onto trading screens with the stock up more than 1,700 per cent this year. Fuelled by trader talk on forums and Elon Musk’s “Gamestonk!!” tweet, it’s taken professionals by surprise and squeezed shorts at major hedge funds.

As in other markets, with more Indians staying indoors since the pandemic struck, many have flocked to stock markets at home and abroad, leading to a surge in retail investing. According to Stockal, their favourites in the US have been the likes of Tesla Inc. and Apple Inc., with Covid-19 vaccine maker Moderna Inc. and Chinese electric vehicle firm Nio Inc. rising up the rankings in recent months.

Dipe Chatterjee, a Mumbai-based marketing consultant, is one such investor. He’s bought GameStop and Tesla in recent months, making a 150 per cent return on his $1,000 investment in the games retailer earlier this week before swiftly booking profits.

“It’s a game with real skin in it,” he said.

Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum earlier briefly turned itself off amid a surge new participants. The site had racked up more than three million members as day traders plugged companies led by GameStop.

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Published on January 28, 2021
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