MTR: the perfect hedge

A commercial for the MTR, Hong Kong''s newly privatized metro system, underlines what a great investment the company is.

The commercial begins with a stunning image of a child holding his nose, and adopting a suitably pained expression. Black diesel taxi fumes begin spewing into the atmosphere all around him.
The commercial’s tagline is “Whatever the conditions above ground, you’ll arrive on time breathing nothing but clean air.”

This commercial is interesting given that the government is still the major shareholder of MTR. In no uncertain terms this amounts to a very public admission of how poor the environmental situation is in Hong Kong.

And clearly this makes MTR a great investment. Given the government is showing absolutely no sign of doing anything to improve Hong Kong’s environment – now ranked as one of the worst in the world – the MTR is the one clean way to travel. Or, at any rate, that’s the message behind the commercial.

This sets up a 'virtuous' investment cycle for MTR. The more polluted Hong Kong becomes, the more people that will use MTR (and breathe its clean air) and thus boost its revenues and hence the share price.

So if you believe Hong Kong is going to get ever more polluted, buy MTR stock. At least, that seems to be what the advertising campaign is suggesting.

Little wonder the deal was a blowout success.