• Anne Heaney, Director

World's "Hottest Sportswear Firm" Li Ning, Surges 200 Percent

The hottest sportswear brand in the world right now — at least in the stock market — is a Chinese firm founded by former Olympic gymnast Li Ning.

Li Ning recently became the current top performing sportswear brand on the stock market after a 200% stock surge. According to Bloomberg, the Chinese brand has tripled in Hong Kong trading this year, and as a result, it has become the leading performer on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index and in terms of growth across all apparel companies globally.

The sportswear brand has taken a recent interest in designing boundary-pushing lifestyle and basketball footwear like the Arc Ace Sneaker and the Speed VI Premium, as well as putting on more lifestyle-focused runway shoes in addition to its traditional sportswear offerings – two initiatives that have likely helped it strike a cord with today’s streetwear and athleisure-heavy fashion landscape. The surge, according to experts, can be attributed to the raising interest in sports fashion.

Morgan Stanley raised its rating on Li-Ning’s stock to “overweight,” meaning the firm believes the brand’s stock is of great value when compared to other companies on the market. In addition, the firm lifted Li-Ning’s share price target by 33 percent to detail its high projected value. Bloomberg also notes that Li-Ning’s shares are currently at 35 times the brand’s projected 12-month earnings, compared to 30 times for Nike and 25 times for Adidas.

Li-Ning, founded by former Olympic gymnast Li Ning, was listed in 2004 and saw similar growth in both 2007 and 2010. However, the brand plummeted for years following until now.

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