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Bull market on limited Year of the Snake stamps

2013-01-07 15:20 Global Times     Web Editor: qindexing comment

The China Post Group (CPG) issued special stamps for the Year of the Snake Saturday at a face value of 24 yuan ($3.85) per large edition, but the market value quickly jumped to 380 yuan Sunday.

The CPG publishes commemorative postage stamps each year printed with an animal from the Chinese zodiac. 2013 is the Year of the Snake. This year's snake stamps come in two editions, a large edition of 20 stamps and small one of six stamps. The face value of each stamp is 1.2 yuan.

On Saturday, the date of issue, long lines appeared in front of the Beijing-based stamp shop of the China National Philatelic Corp (CNP) and all their snake stamps sold out Sunday, a salesperson at the shop told the Global Times Sunday on condition of anonymity.

Some Shanghai residents started lining up to buy the snake stamps at 8 am Wednesday and waited at least 70 hours to pay 380 yuan for the large edition and 115 yuan for the small edition, according to the Shanghai Morning Post Sunday.

The current selling price is much higher than the face value of the stamps due to a limited issue and strong investor confidence in 2012's dragon stamps, Tao Jianjun, a Beijing-based vendor of special stamps and coins, told the Global Times Sunday.

The large edition of dragon stamps has steadily increased to its current market price of 410 yuan since it was issued on January 5, 2012. On that day, its price shot up from the face value of 24 yuan to 160 yuan, said Tao, adding that people are hoping to see this year's snake stamps appreciate in the same way.

Chinese stamps in limited editions are expected to be a lucrative new investing sector amid sluggish domestic stock and gold trading markets, he noted.

The latest data from the Shanghai Gold Exchange indicated that the trading price of gold dropped Friday by 2.58 percent.

Besides domestic investors' confidence in stamps, the high markup was partly driven by China's major stamp sellers, including CNP, who decide how many stamps to release into the market, a Guangzhou-based industry insider, who has collected stamps for eight years, told the Global Times Sunday on condition of anonymity.

People should not blindly follow the trend, given that the newly issued stamps are not easy to resell at a high price, he said.

Tao warned that the prices of the snake stamps are likely to drop after 10 to 20 days.

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