From there I scoured the world looking for Chinese stocks to short. And until today I never noticed Mazu Alliance which is above the same shopping complex as Bronte. Mazu Alliance is within a couple of floors of where we will be setting up our new expanded office.
Mazu Alliance's business is religious shrines and ancillary activities including "development of the premier site for the worship of the goddess Mazu in Fujian province, China".
I have never seen religious sites traded in public markets, and if Mazu does exist then she is notably uninterested in or powerless to benefit her Alliance's external shareholders. The company has not found the money to pay their listing fees and the stock is not trading.
That did not stop them making one of the more amazing company announcements I have ever seen:
To strengthen the Company’s operations in the development of its 3,600 private temples and cultural halls, the Company is forming key strategic partnerships with aligned Taoist and Buddhist faiths.
In furthering this strategy, the Company is appointing internationally recognised religious dignitaries as advisers to the Company.
The Company announces that Mr Taochen Chang has been appointed as the Company’s Taoist Chief Adviser commencing on 1 January 2014.
Mr Chang is the ‘Heavenly Master’, a title originating with the Eastern Han Dynasty. The position of ‘Heavenly Master’ is allocated to a religious head of the Taoist movement. Taoism has influenced Southeast Asia for over 2,000 years and has also spread internationally. Mazu is a deity in Taoism.
In each generation, the position and title of ‘Heavenly Master’ was bestowed by the emperor of the time. The position has been passed through 64 generations, and Mr Chang, a 64th generation descendant of the family, is the current Heavenly Master. He has an extensive group of followers, and is recognised in Taiwan, Southeast Asia and internationally.
Still, I wonder about my strange blindness that allows me to navigate through obscure Chinese stocks listed in Canada and ignore the operators who probably queue with me for my morning coffee.