A 19-year-old Chinese model who bought 60 million yuan ($9.79 million) of stock in Zhejiang Orient Holdings Co., Ltd. (SHA:600120) shortly before the shares jumped 47 percent is raising questions about whether the financial neophyte might be a front person for a real investor, is just incredibly lucky or China's answer to Warren Buffet.
The model in question is Jin Yiyun, whose handle on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, is @金怡云AngelaSweetz. She was born in 1994, and worked as a model and a singer, according to Jinzq.net, a stock and financial management news site.
Her Weibo profile claimed she graduated from Shanghai Normal University, but the school said Jin was not a full-time student and only took some voice lessons from 2011 to 2012. Sun Meina, Jin’s professor at the school, said Jin told her that she was the daughter of a renowned real estate mogul in Shanghai. However, no real estate mogul with the last name of Jin was found in Shanghai, according to Jinzq.net.
According to the news agency, before the second half of 2012 Jin’s Weibo posts included her work as a model for various TV shows and photos of Jin shopping and getting together with her friends.
Beginning in the second half of 2012, however, her Weibo postings indicated that her life had changed drastically. Someone threw her a luxury Chanel-themed birthday party. There were also pictures of her in expensive cars and a romantic vacation in Taiwan.
On May 25 Jinzq.net reported that in the space of a few days during the first quarter Jin became the second-largest shareholder of Zhejiang Orient Holdings, a Chinese holding company based in Zhejiang province.
Soon after that report, Jin deleted all but one of her posts on Weibo. The one that remained was from September 2012 and concerned a movie that was about to open in China.
From the end of January 2013 to the beginning of February Jin purchased all of her shares in Zhejiang Orient, people familiar with the matter told Jinzq.net. At the time, Zhejiang Orient’s share cost 9.5 yuan.
According to Zhejiang Orient’s first quarter report, seven of its 10 biggest shareholders in 2013 are new shareholders, six of whom are individual investors. Jin is the second largest, holding over one million shares more than the third largest shareholder. At the end of March, Jin held 6.06 million shares, 1.2 percent of the total shares of the company.
The average strike price of Zhejiang Orient’s stock in the first quarter was 10.1 yuan per share, which means Jin would most likely have invested more 60 million yuan in the first quarter.
In the first quarter, Zhejiang Orient’s stock initially fell by 2.22 percent, and then climbed steadily from 8.55 yuan per share to more than 9 yuan per share.
Starting on March 20, however, the company’s stock rose rapidly. In just six market days it reached 13.35 yuan per share, performing far better than the market overall during those days. On Friday, it closed at 14.16 yuan per share.
At Friday’s share price, Jin’s investment would be worth over 80.9 million yuan, a neat profit of more 28 million yuan over just a few weeks for the 19-year-old.
“Jin was a quiet, pretty girl and liked to wear makeup, but didn’t look like she was knowledgeable about investment,” Sun, Jin’s professor, said. “Most of my art and music students didn’t know much about investment; I would have noticed if one of them did.”
Another piece of the puzzle is where the shares these new investors purchased came from. Zhejiang Orient’s controlling shareholder is a state-owned enterprise, Zhejiang International Business Group Co., Ltd. (ZIB China). By May 22, ZIB China had sold 1.21 percent of its shares in Zhejiang Orient, more than 6 million shares.
If, as some suspect, Jin is merely the front woman, or "straw buyer," for the large number of shares in Zhejiang Orient, it remains to be seen who the real second-largest shareholder is, Jinzq.net reported.