Wednesday, June 21, 2006


There's not a lot of detail supplied in this news wire story, but if it turns out to be true it's absolutely extraordinary, and raises soem interesting questions about the world football body, FIFA, and accusations of corruption, including match-riggings, during past World Cups.

Seems that just one loss for a team in a World Cup game has a depressing effect on the stockmarkets of their homeland (if they've got a stockmarket that is).

According to a study due for release on June 29, "a World Cup loss during a competition's group phase shaves an average 0.38 percent off a team's home stock market index."

But the more successful a team is in the World Cup, the more devastating the impact on stock market investors can be when they lose.

This story claims that during the knock-out phase of the World Cup tournament, a loss can hit the respective stockmarket index of that country's home by almost 1/2 percent.

"To put the results in perspective, 40 basis points (0.40 percent) of the UK market capitalization as of November 2005 is 11.5 billion dollars. This is approximately three times the total market value of all the soccer clubs belonging to the English Premier League," the study will claim.
The authors of thes study apparently "compared stock market indices of 39 footballing nations in the wake of world cup and other major international matches between January 1973 and December 2004."

"We already know that the markets' supposed rationality is in fact influenced by the feelings of individuals and we worked on the basis that the feelings which universally affect the humour of investors are related to sport, especially to football."

But the action doesn't swing both ways.

Getting knocked out of the World Cup might shave billions off a country's stock values, but scoring a win doesn't ramp up the figures, unfortunately.

So when you see those guys in Gucci suits in the stands during the knock-outs, shrieking in horror as teams score game-winning goals, they might actually be stock investors who've just taken one hell of a cold bath.

This all means that if a stock guru-football expert truly believes one major team in particular is going to be get knocked out of the the next round, he could bet on that country's stock market taking a dive by 1/3 to 1/2 percent the morning after humiliating defeat, and clean up.

How's that for some serious football?

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