Sunday, August 31, 2008

Confusing everybody

I've arrived in England now where things are beginning to look a touch misty and autumnal. Kids in this country go back to school tomorrow. Heathrow was altogether less chaotic than predicted yesterday. Something not quite right there.

Something not quite right as well with the world's perception of the China financial information stocks. Once again, supposed experts (harumph!) have confused China Finance Online (JRJC) for a serious company and the two listed arms of Xinhua Finance for one another.

This time, it's the Motley Fool, rarely more wisely named. Maybe because JRJC is listed on NASDAQ they think it must be important. If Xinhua Finance (which is also in the financial information business) weren't listed on the oddly named Tokyo Mothers' Board, maybe it would earn more of the attention it deserves. Instead, that wonderful East Coast arrogance assumes that NASDAQ-listed subsidiary, Xinhua Finance Media (XFML) must be more important than its parent. Surely, the thinking must go, these nice folk over in China must realise New York is more important than Japan, that actually little of importance in the world takes place outside the Five Boroughs, except of course when the Yankees are playing away games...

XFML actually has little to do with financial information and is more a general China media play. Xinhua Finance is a much bigger company and altogether more convincing than JRJC, but don't tell the Motley Fool because they think "You can think of the company [JRJC] as analogous to the finance arm of Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), or to MarketWatch, part of the Dow Jones family of services at News Corp". It's not, but if they can get the ill-informed but opinionated investment advisors to think that, good for them.

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