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A new bronze sculpture in southeast China, showing a bull firmly pinning a bear to the ground, has garnered swift attention in the country shaken by yet another meltdown in its equity markets.
Located in the city of Xiamen in Fujian province, the 3-tonne sculpture, which is 3.4 meters tall and 6 meters long, belongs to art collector Cai Ming Chao. According to the city's newspaper Hai Xia Dao Bao, Cai is also an avid stock investor who initially commissioned the building of the statue for good luck.
By naming it "Gu Ye" or "Lord of Stocks," Cai now hopes that the bull-bear sculpture can soothe nerves of other mainland investors by acting as a lucky charm that could "represent a prolonged bull run which will keep the bear firmly under its feet."
The art collector also said he hopes that the massive figurine could become the mascot of Chinese stocks one day, like the brass "charging bull" near Wall Street, according to the Xiamen-based broadsheet. The sculpture reportedly cost "millions of yuan" and was delivered to its current location on August 13 from Beijing. Cai did not disclose the actual amount he spent.
Since the renewed turmoil in share markets this week, a handful of stock investors have been seen praying to the gigantic sculpture with incense sticks and offerings such as oranges, other local media reports said.
On Tuesday, the tumbled 7.6 percent through the key 3,000 mark to finish at an eight-month trough. In the preceding trading session, the benchmark index nosedived near 9 percent, chalking up its biggest single-day percentage loss since 2007, with state media Xinhua news agency describing the carnage as "Black Monday."
The brutal multi-day sell-off has prompted the People's Bank of China (PBOC) to lower interest rates and the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 25 and 50 basis points, respectively, late Tuesday.
On Weibo - China most popular micro-blogging site - some netizens called the sculpture an act of superstition while others laughed off the news against the backdrop of the market mayhem.
A user called "hanyencuifutixiaohu" wrote on Tuesday: "Xiamen investor spends millions making this bull-over-bear sculpture and in the end, stocks still fall [laughing emoji]"
Meanwhile, another user by the nickname "jiuyueganlanxiang" said: "Too bad it came at the wrong time. The mascot has failed."