Earlier this week, two pandas at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo mated for the first time in four years. This brought joy not only to animal lovers, at the thought that a baby panda might be forthcoming, but also to Totenko Co., proprietors of a Chinese restaurant within walking distance of the zoo.
Although brief, announcement of the 52-second mating session of pandas Shin Shin and Ri Ri caused the value of the company's stock to surge 9.9 percent in afternoon trading, Bloomberg reported. The stock saw a 2.9 percent increase in trading volume upon closing, which is almost five times more than the three-month average.
This isn’t the first time the company has seen a stock increase related to panda mating. In 2012, Shin Shin gave birth to a cub, causing a spike in stock prices, but it died six days later from pneumonia, South China Morning Post reported. A year after the cub's death, Totenko's stock price increased again when the zoo announced that Shin Shin may have been pregnant again — but dipped a month later, after it was revealed she wasn’t pregnant after all.
According to Bloomberg, the economic impact of pandas, pregnant or not, on local businesses has been estimated at $89 million annually.