Mumbai: India’s day traders are strapping in for the GameStop Corp. ride that’s taken equity markets by storm.
The videogame retailer was among the five most-traded names over the past week on Stockal, a platform for Indian retail investors to trade U.S. equities. GameStop accounted for about 15% of all trades on the platform, co-founder and co-chief executive officer Sitashwa Srivastava said in an interview.
“We were not expecting Indians would be on Reddit, reading about GameStop,” Srivastava said. Unlike many of their options-heavy WallStreetBets counterparts, Indian traders aren’t allowed to take on leverage while trading foreign stocks, he said. “These are all trading in cash.”
GameStop has exploded onto trading screens with the stock up more than 1,700% this year. Fueled by trader talk on forums and Elon Musk’s “Gamestonk!!” tweet, it’s taken professionals by surprise and squeezed shorts at major hedge funds.
As in other markets, with more Indians staying indoors since the pandemic struck, many have flocked to stock markets at home and abroad, leading to a surge in retail investing. According to Stockal, their favorites in the U.S. have been the likes of Tesla Inc. and Apple Inc., with Covid-19 vaccine maker Moderna Inc. and Chinese electric vehicle firm Nio Inc. rising up the rankings in recent months.
Dipe Chatterjee, a Mumbai-based marketing consultant, is one such investor. He’s bought GameStop and Tesla in recent months, making a 150% return on his $1,000 investment in the games retailer earlier this week before swiftly booking profits.
“It’s a game with real skin in it,” he said.
Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum earlier briefly turned itself off amid a surge new participants. The site had racked up more than 3 million members as day traders plugged companies led by GameStop.