Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ding Hai Effect

The Ding Hai Effect , Adam Cheng Effect, Chiu Koon Effect , or Qiuguan Effect is a peculiar stock phenomenon that affects Hong Kong stock markets.


It is observed that whenever the Hong Kong actor Adam Cheng stars in a new television show, there is a sudden and unexplained drop in the market. This is still a popular topic amongst stock brokers, years after the drama series ''Greed of Man'' was broadcasted in Hong Kong in October 1992. The effect is named after Ding Hai, the main character of the show, played by Adam Cheng.


In the 1990s, TVB aired the classic drama ''The Greed of Man'', which featured some of the most popular actors and actresses of the time. The drama centred heavily around the stock market, and the schemes and plots of those who struck it rich in the market.

Cheng, who played Ding Hai in the drama, made an immense fortune with his four sons by selling short derivatives and stocks during a bear market. Many people went broke, but the Ding family became richer and richer until an eventual defeat by the family's nemesis.


Initially, the Ding Hai Effect occurred whenever the TVB drama series ''Greed of Man'' or its remake, ''Divine Retribution'' , made by Asia Television Ltd was broadcast. Later, it was also observed that the effect occurs whenever a new drama show that Cheng stars in was aired.


* October 1992: The drama series ''Greed of Man'' made its debut on TVB. During the time it was broadcast, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 598 points in 4 days, causing billions in stock losses.

* November 1994: ''Instinct'' made its debut on TVB. The Heng Sang Index fell more than 2,000 points.

* September 1996: ''Once Upon a Time in Shanghai'' premiered on TVB. The Hang Seng Index fell 300 points.

* June 1997: ''Cold Blood Warm Heart'' made its debut on TVB. The Hang Seng Index accumulated 735 points in losses.

* December 1997: ''Legend of Yung Ching'' premiered. At this time, the Asian Financial Crisis began, and the Heng Seng Index fell 5,324 points, ending below the 10,000 mark.

* June 1999, ''Lord of Imprisonment'' premiered, causing the Heng Seng Index to decline 1,176 points


* September 2000: A loose re-make of ''The Greed of Man'', ''Divine Retribution'' , aired on . Due to the Tech stock bubble at the time, the Hang Seng Index fell an accumulated 1,715 points, with other stock markets around the world falling as a result also.

*Summer 2003: ''Greed of Man'' re-aired on TVB's US satellite channel, TVB-USA. Corporate Corruption scandals stemming from financial troubles at Enron caused much stock market instability in the US and other global markets.

*October 2003: ''The Driving Power'' made its debut. At first, it appeared the spell was broken, with the Heng Seng Index rising more than 100 points on the day of the premiere. However, the market soon fell, eventually falling 51 points.

* March 2004: ''Blade Heart'' premiered in Hong Kong, causing the Hang Seng Index to fall 550 points over 3 days due to high oil prices and instabilities in the Middle East.

* October 2004: ''The Conqueror's Story'' premiered in Hong Kong, causing a 198-point drop in the Heng Seng Index on the day of the premiere

* March 2005: ''The Prince's Shadow'' premiered, and local uncertainties surrounding the resignation of Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa caused wild fluctuations in the market.

* April 2006: ''Bar Bender'' premiered in Hong Kong, causing wild drops in US and Hong Kong stock markets. {[fact

* July 2006: ''The Prince's Shadow'' aired on TVB-USA, and markets fell dramatically due to the .

* February-March 2007: ''The Prince's Shadow'' was rebroadcast in Hong Kong, and a Chinese stock market crisis caused Hong Kong and global markets to drop significantly.

* May 2007: Investigative programme ''Mystery'' premiered, with Cheng as the host. The Heng Seng Index fell 700 points.

* July 2007: ''Return Home'' premiered in Hong Kong, and the caused the market to fall 1,165 points in Hong Kong; US and Canadian stock markets also dropped significantly in July and August.

* August 2007: ''Bar Benders'' premiered on TVB-USA, and the caused extreme drops in global markets. The market is still in a volatile state when the series finale aired on 10 September 2007. It is interesting to note that ''The Greed of Man'' was rerun at roughly the same time on TVB-USA.

* October-November 2007: ''The Conqueror's Story'' premiered in Singapore, global markets dropped significantly for weeks.


The only time that the Ding Hai Effect did not occur was in late 2006, when a cultural and educational programme about the Forbidden City hosted by Cheng was aired in the US and did not cause a stock market crisis.


The Ding Hai Effect has led to Adam Cheng attracting much press attention. Now, whenever a new show starring Adam Cheng is about to be broadcast, some stockbrokers and investors in Hong Kong become wary, even anticipating a drop in the market.

While some investors have argued that the effect is no more than a series of coincidences and amounts to nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy, the show's peculiar effect on the stock market is regarded by some as more than coincidence. It was also confirmed that Crédit Lyonnais wrote a report on this matter.

This strange phenomenon also created a career trough for Adam Cheng in Hong Kong during the 1990s, for the two over-the-air television stations in Hong Kong avoided using Cheng for its dramas, partly because they did not want to bear responsibility for a stock market crash.

No comments: