The hottest stock in Asia since markets hit their nadir in March amid the peak of the coronavirus impact is an Australian payment company that is seeking to cash in on the global change in spending habits.
Installment payment platform operator Afterpay Ltd. has surged 713% to become the top performer on the 1,574 member MSCI Asia Pacific Index since the gauge’s March 23 low, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Flowing government stimulus, a shift to digital payments and stuck-at-home shoppers have bolstered expectations for the firm as it expands across the US, UK and Canada.
Afterpay’s market value surged above A$20 billion ($19.7 billion) after underlying sales more than doubled and the company unveiled overseas expansion plans including deals with Apple Inc. and Google Pay. Better-than-expected credit quality and wider customer usage amid the pandemic prompted Morgan Stanley to almost triple its price target earlier this month.